Maine Joins Multistate Coalition Against Blocking Medication Abortion Access; Drug Execs Issue Strong Statement, Too


A Message on the Front of the Downtown Portland Public Library During a Recent Pro-Abortion Rally.

Former State Rep from Portland, Dick Farnsworth, at Lincoln Park, Several Years Ago.

Aurora, 3, of Gray Holds Her Own Sign at a Rally in Portland Several Years Ago.

Attorney General Aaron Frey yesterday joined a multistate coalition to challenge the decision issued by a district court Judge in the US District Court  for the Northern District of Texas that would restrict medication abortion access nationwide.  The amicus brief, filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, urges the court to stay pending appeal the district court’s ruling, which if allowed to take effect would halt the over two-decades old approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the medication abortion drug, mifepristone.

Attorney General Frey and the coalition of 24 Attorneys General warn that revoking federal approval for mifepristone will drastically reduce access to safe abortion care and miscarriage management for millions of people across the country, endangering lives and trampling states’ authority to protect and promote access to abortion.

This ruling comes in a challenge brought by anti-abortion groups seeking to revoke the FDA’s approval of mifepristone.  On April 7, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas ordered the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stay its approval of mifepristone, which happened in 2000.  The court’s order does not take effect immediately, as the district court put its ruling on hold for 7 days to give the federal government and the drug manufacturers an opportunity to appeal.  Attorney General Frey and the Coalition are urging the appeals court to continue to stay the lower court’s unprecedented ane legally erroneous decisin ending the appeal, given the decades of clinical research and studies that have confirmed mifepristone’s safety and the critical role medication abortion plays in reproductive health care, particularly in low-income, underserved and rural communities.

“We know mifepristone is a safe, time-tested medication that has vastly improved access to abortion care,” said Attorney General Frey.  “This is a ruling about control – not about safety.  My office and I will continue to use every legal tool available to us to ensure reproductive freedom for Maine citizens.”

“The pharmaceutical industry plunged into a legal showdown over the abortion pill mifepristone on Monday, issuing a scorching condemnation of a ruling….,” according to an article on the front page of “The New York Times” today, April 11, 2023.  “The statement was signed by more than 400 leaders of some of the drug and biotech industry’s more prominent investment firms and companies, none of which make mifepristone,…” The statement is:  “If courts can overturn drug approvals without regard for science or evidence, or for the complexity required to fully vet the safety and efficacy of new drugs, any medication is at risk for the same outcome as mifepristone. “