A ruling that abortion doctors cannot be prosecuted under a statehood law criminalizing abortions: PHOENIX – The case of Tuscon, Arizona
PHOENIX — An Arizona court has ruled that abortion doctors cannot be prosecuted under a pre-statehood law that criminalizes nearly all abortions yet was barred from being enforced for decades.
On Friday, Judge Peter Eckerstrom wrote in the order that “Arizona courts have a responsibility to attempt to harmonize all of this state’s relevant statutes.”
The order stated that the court concludes the balance of hardships weigh strongly in favor of granting the stay given the acute need for healthcare providers, prosecuting agencies and the public for clarity regarding the application of our criminal laws.
The office of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office understands that this is an emotional issue and will carefully review the court’s ruling before determining the next step.
It can be difficult to resume abortion care in Tuscon, since it is the biggest abortion provider in the state and therefore difficult to switch off the lights.
Editor’s Note: Mary Ziegler (@maryrziegler) is is the Martin Luther King Professor of Law at UC Davis. She is the author of “Dollars for Life: The Antiabortion Movement and the Fall of the Republican Establishment” and “Roe: The History of a National Obsession.” The views she expresses are her own. Read more opinion articles on CNN.
She said a physician in a leadership position at the hospital was disappointed that they’d had to say no to the journalist’s request to embed at their hospital. She said the doctor told her that they have to stop muzzling physicians. I want to figure out a way to get our voices out there.’ “
The doctor was asked not to comment on the NY Times at this time, but he replied with a resounding “no”.
A doctor spoke at a public event about abortion at a hospital that does not allow the practice, but they were called into the principal’s office by hospital administrators because they never talked about where they work.
“If [they] don’t speak up, who is going to provide the evidence about the effect [abortion bans are] having on patients?” asked Dr. Erika Werner, who chairs the health policy and advocacy committee at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and is the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
Dr. Rosha McCoy, acting chief health care officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges, said medical centers and universities are having to deal with a great deal of “fear” and “confusion” in the aftermath of new abortion limitations.
“They don’t want themselves or the physicians to be put in a position where something is said that could be interpreted that’s going to cause a problem for both the clinician and/or the institution,” said McCoy, whose group represents more than 400 teaching hospitals and health care systems.
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The woman who already has a toddler was just a few weeks away from giving birth. Nearly 90% of abortions performed in Michigan are done within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy — and more than half are medication abortions.
“What we are seeing now is that if a state has banned abortion, then medication abortion is unavailable. And I think we’re going to see how this tension plays out between the FDA’s authority over drugs and devices and the state laws,” she said. “We may see some court cases around this very issue as to FDA’s authority and state law.”
The doctor, a specialist in high-risk pregnancies who works at a public university, said that they have had to watch patients deteriorated in front of their eyes.
The intention was clearly to make us feel like criminals. That is how it makes us feel, like we are doing something wrong. “I think we’re all pretty scared. I fear that I will lose my job. I’m the primary breadwinner in my family, so losing my job would be a big, big deal.”
The doctor told CNN that at this meeting, it was intimidating that “these very fancy, very high-level, high-powered administrators had watched a video [of the event] and obtained a transcript to make sure I in no way made a connection to my employer.”
University of Texas Southwest Medical Center: “Does the GOP care about abortion” or “how to run a cancer clinic without a doctor?”
“I got the strong sense they’ll say no,” they said. “They worry about state funding sources and what happens if it gets controversial, so unfortunately instead of supporting us, they want everyone to play nice and quiet and not stir up any trouble.”
This battle is high priced for all of us. Patients seeking abortion care and providers of that care must not be used as pawns or pushed to the forefront of national elections.
According to a doctor familiar with this situation, a university official told the residents to remove the photo from their personal social media accounts despite the statements from national organizations. The doctor added that a little bit later, the official told the residents they could post the picture on their own accounts, as long as they didn’t identify where they work.
The lawyer gave the residents a presentation about the limits of free speech at the mandatory lecture a month later. CNN has seen a photo of a presentation.
When it comes to searching for a new job, residents are hesitant to make trouble because they depend on senior colleagues to make calls for them, and they aren’t able to find a job if they are perceived as difficult, according to a doctor.
There have been over 150 news releases issued by the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center in the last year detailing innovations in the lab, studies done by its doctors, and awards for researchers.
When CNN reached out to one of the study authors last month she said she would be happy to speak, but that they needed to go through the university’s media office.
The medical center will not be commenting on the findings of their review of the Supreme Court opinion, according to the director of public relations. The results speak for themselves.
Oncologists have expressed concern that abortion bans could hurt pregnant cancer patients. If abortion isn’t an option, pregnant women can’t receive certain cancer tests and treatments that can harm their fetus, causing them to have to delay vital cancer care. As two breast cancer doctors wrote in August in The New England Journal of Medicine, abortion bans “will harm some of our patients” because sometimes, “we cannot offer complete or safe treatment to a pregnant person with a breast cancer diagnosis.”
The doctors from MD Anderson were not available for an interview when CNN reached out to them to discuss what they had seen since the abortion ban was passed in Texas.
MD Anderson said in a statement that its providers discuss the published data on the implications of delaying treatment due to pregnancy, and they refer patients to maternal fetal medicine specialists.
An associate vice president of CNN said they were working on coordinating interviews with the doctors before the deadline, but no one was available prior to the deadline for this story.
Wade is the chief public affairs officer at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, a membership organization that includes physicians who are experts in high-risk pregnancies. A few months ago, a reporter from The New York Times Magazine approached Wade with the idea of embedding a photographer in a high-risk maternal-fetal medicine department.
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I think that people don’t understand the seriousness of the laws that hurt people when they don’t hear the stories. She said that people need to understand and hear that.
She said the hospitals and practices that declined The New York Timesinvitation made her and her colleagues nervous. “
As these laws continue to change, it is up to hospitals to interpret what can be done and what can’t be done. She said that she could understand why someone would be cautious with their approach to the world.
It started soon after the Supreme Court’s decision, when she and other maternal-fetal medicine specialists got on a call with their hospital’s administrators.
But on the call, “it became pretty clear that [the medical center] was not going to take a particularly activist approach” and would not make it easy for doctors to describe the impact of the new laws to the public.
She said that people cried on the call and 50-year-old woman were in tears when she realized the extent to which the institution would make this difficult.
I worry about my community – providers and patients alike. I think about how scared my patients must be traveling to another state, how quickly their finances are drained, how alone they must feel. I worry they will think I didn’t fight hard enough for them, even though they know I tell them the hospital said they weren’t sick enough.
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The US Supreme Court will not know if it will rule that the FDA’s actions were pre-empted by state laws or whether they are under the jurisdiction of the court.
It can be hard to practice medicine when you are bracing for the next legal crisis that could harm your patients. I speak to hospital lawyers a lot more than any doctor should because I am frustrated that patients don’t receive the same care they would in a different state.
Every time I am forced to turn a patient away, that burning candle inside me, once a roaring and passionate fire in a young student excited to embark upon a career of helping others, dims ever so slightly. This serious breach of my duty as a physician is not easily recovered from, even when I am powerless to do otherwise.
I’m worried that the next lawyer will not understand the case and that the patient who needs an abortion will be denied. I worry they will lack the time, money, transportation, and support to get the care they need. And this denial, which is not in alignment with my medical opinion or the patient’s wishes, will forever alter their life. I am afraid that they will die.
I still have some joy in my job. A college student is suddenly trembling after swallowing their first pill of their medication abortion regimen and whispering with increasing confidence, “I’m going to be ok.” When a transplant recipient knows that she will not have to go back on the transplant list, the tears stop.
A single mom can now concentrate on her family and career without worry of being pregnant again, something that used to put enormous weight on her shoulders. I take solace in knowing that despite the shattered hearts of Tara and Justin, they did what was best for Tara and spared their baby who would have not lived a short lifetime.
Getting the Patient’s First Appropriate Treatment Before You Go to a Doctor’s Office: The Case for An abortion in Michigan (after the Supreme Court)
Patients should be free to make medical decisions that correspond with their faith, family needs, and their health without interference from the government. They should have access to compassionate care no matter where they live. And doctors should be allowed to simply be doctors. I should be allowed to take care of my patients without fear.
The Supreme Court’s decision last year to overturn the Wade ruling has created a furor around abortion, especially pill abortion, which now makes up a majority of abortions in the US.
“The unfortunate reality is that there are more than a dozen states right now where abortion is illegal or close to fully illegal, it is banned. It is likely that people in states where abortion is illegal will go to another state to obtain medication abortion, like people are forced to do now.
Melissa is part of a record surge of abortion patients pouring into Michigan since Roe v. Wade was overturned this summer. For nearly three months, she tried to find an abortion closer to home. By the time she arrived at Northland, she was 14 weeks pregnant.
NPR decided not to use full names for all of the patients because of the intimate medical information discussed concerning a highly politicized and controversial issue.
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The Northland waiting room is built to feel welcoming, even pretty. Big windows look out on tall pines bending in the breeze. The TV is set to the cheerful chatter of women remodeling their modern farmhouses on HGTV.
” ‘You don’t want to tell anyone because no man will ever marry you if he knows about it’,” Chelian’s father told her after that,” she recalled. ‘ You’re going to be OK. We’re going to take care of you. We’ll never talk about it again after this conversation.
But abortion rights in Michigan are far from certain: court battles have been continuing for months over a 1931 state law that criminalized abortions, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The federal right to abortion was revived after the law was established, but it wasn’t always on the books. Earlier this year, both Planned Parenthood and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed lawsuits to prevent the law from going back into effect.
On August 1st, the courts ruled that abortion could be done again in Michigan at breakfast and lunchtime, but only once again at dinner.
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Northland’s founder Chelian, now 71, is like a hummingbird: a petite powerhouse who never stops moving. She has spent most of her adult life pouring that energy into creating the clinics she wished had existed when she was 15: spaces that are spotless but not soulless, where soothing music plays in the procedure rooms. After patients receive their prescriptions and their names, they receive a brown paper bag with their names and a pink heart on the front.
But then the appointment took an unexpected turn. “She wanted to pray for me,” Melissa says. She gave me a book. It didn’t even seem like it was religion until the very end … They were posing to be so pro-choice, and they’re not.”
I am going through a divorce and I slept with someone in the past. And then I got pregnant. And they were like, ‘Are you sure that you don’t see a future with this guy? Is it possible that we brought him here? They were trying to talk me into having a baby that I couldn’t have, and then they’re trying to talk me into a relationship. It’s crazy.”
The Legislature’s decision to ban abortions after 15 weeks of a pregnant woman’s growth is good for you, but bad for your baby. A mom’s perspective
A law passed this year by the Legislature bars abortions after 15 weeks of a pregnant woman’s baby’s growth. The law is similar to one that the Supreme Court invalidated in June, which allowed abortion after 24 weeks.
“And I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything, I love them to death,” M. says. “But I just feel like that phase of my life is over. And it was an amazing phase. I don’t want to go back again. I want to go forward.”
When Melissa’s name is called, a staff member brings her from the waiting area into one of the procedure rooms, where she meets the doctor who’ll perform her procedure: obstetrician-gynecologist Audrey Lance.
Like many of the patients who come here, Lance has kids, and the shared experiences of parenthood — Halloween costumes, soccer games, the agony and ecstasies of living with a toddler — provide most of the small talk before the procedure begins, or the abortion pills are dispensed.
Earlier this year, Lance was dyeing the tips of her short brown hair purple — it helps nervous young patients relax when she walks in and they see their abortion doctor is actually a woman with cool purple hair.
Every little moment of connection and ease is important, given how public, politicized and ugly the legal fights over abortion have become, Lance says. Since the Dobbs decision it has been a hard few months.
“And it seems like every week, sometimes every day, there was a new thing happening that was affecting how we could work, or whether we could work and whether we could continue to provide care,” Lance says.
Despite the turmoil of recent months, she’s optimistic Prop. 3 will pass, and nullify forever any threat from that 1931 ban. “I am hopeful. She pauses and sighs. I think you just have to be. How could I come to work everyday if I wasn’t?”
A mother with two kids and two girls at Northland’s clinic: “I didn’t think I could survive,” she tells a reporter
Northland’s clinic in Sterling Heights sees about 22 to 24 patients a day. On the nine days a public radio reporter visited, about half of the patients agreed to an interview or allowed the reporter to accompany them during the office visit or surgical procedure.
A. is a mother with big, bright eyes. She is quick to make a joke out of anything. But she dissolves into tears when asked about why she came to Northland.
“I don’t think I could survive if I knew that I had to have these babies with an abusive person,” A. says. That’s insane to me. I feel as though I’m a prisoner.
A. has two young girls and says her partner was violent. She took the girls and left, and was trying to get a personal protection order when she found out she was pregnant with twins.
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“I’ve asked and begged to be, like, fixed or snipped or whatever it is that they have to do. They deny me,” she says, sobbing. I end up on medication for birth control. It’s insanity.”
“And I’m so fertile that it’s like, literally, I just, I have to stop having sex in order not to be pregnant. I’m happy that this is my first abortion, and I don’t know what I would do in the future.
After a moment, A. wipes the tears off her face. She manages a small smile. That’s more sharing than I’ve done before. I’m like the Grinch: my heart’s getting bigger.”
A mom’s first experience with abortion at a medical clinic: She told her husband she was going to school for the first year at Northland
A. is what you might imagine when you think about why someone would need an abortion: An abusive relationship. Money problems. It’s emotional distress. And you do see a lot of that at Northland.
But you also see patients who are in great relationships, they’re financially stable, and emotionally composed. M. asked to be identified only by her first initial.
“I want to go back to work and just kind of have something for myself other than just be a mother all day, every day,” she says, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
M’s youngest child is about to start school, she is married and has three children. M felt like she was on a new path after ten years at home with her kids.
At Northland, the pills for medication abortions are prescribed and dispensed in the morning, while the afternoon is dedicated to the surgical procedures.
Lance told one patient that the reporter could observe her procedure, but asked that she not be identified.
Once the procedure starts, the lights are dimmed and soothing music plays. The patient wears a medical gown, her bare legs in stirrups, and the staffer next to her, holds her hand and guides her through it.
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It’s typical for patients to be partially awake during first trimester abortions. Northland Family Planning gives every patient numbing medication applied to the cervix, and intravenous medications for pain and anxiety (fentanyl and midazolam).
The patient talked about how difficult the journey had been when he was in the waiting area. Her aunties told her mom to tell her if she didn’t do it herself. How her mom was surprisingly supportive, getting up early with her that morning, and making sure she ate a good breakfast before her appointment.
She did not want to be with the guy she was having a baby with. She asked him if he could help her pay for this abortion. He said the most he could do was divide it.
“The guys, they’re never held responsible for things like this, ever,” she says. “It’s always the woman. We have to take care of it. It’s put in our lap whether we keep it or not.
It can’t touch you. It could touch you in so many ways. It could be your mother. It could be your sister. Maybe it’s your niece. It’s possible it’s your daughter. Your future, your daughter. Your future wife. It’s going to touch you, man or woman.
The Arizona abortion law violates the state constitutional right to privacy and prevents future abortions in higher-county states and with a wider range of access
Doctors can’t be charged with performing abortions under the old law because other Arizona laws allow them to perform the procedure, even if they aren’t doctors.
In a 3-2 ruling, the court concluded that the law ran afoul of the state constitution’s privacy protections, with Justice Kaye Hearn writing in the lead opinion that the “state constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.”
The lawsuit was placed on hold as the Court of Appeals considers the case. In an agreement with the abortion doctor and the medical association, he said he would not enforce the old law until at least 45 days after a final ruling in the original case.
A coalition of 22 Democratic attorneys general urged Kacsmaryk to deny the motion for a preliminary injunction, writing in court papers that “annulling – or even merely limiting – any of the FDA’s actions relating to medication abortion would result in an even more drastic reduction in abortion access across the entire nation, worsening already dire outcomes, deepening entrenched disparities in access to health care, and placing a potentially unbearable strain on the health care system as a whole.”
The procedure was stopped in the state when the law giving legal rights to unborn children was put on hold by a court and again when a judge decided to enforce the 1864 law.
Abortion is considered illegal at all stages of pregnancy, with various exceptions, in 13 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota , Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Bans in Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming are not in place because courts can’t enforce them at the moment.
There are more accessibilities in states where abortion is not heavily regulated and abortion rights are protected because of the FDA change in allowing pharmacy chains to give out drugs. Where abortion has been banned, abortion remains banned,” Nash said.
The change could expand access at both brick-and-mortar stores and online pharmacies. Women can get a prescription via telehealth consultation with a health professional, and then receive the pills through the mail, where permitted by law.
The change will increase access to abortion services and will allow healthcare providers to prescribe the drug another way, which is important, according to Danco Laboratories.
More than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.
Mifepristone and misoprostol are both used to end a pregnancy. Mifepristone blocks a hormone called progesterone that is needed for a pregnancy to continue. Misoprostol can already be distributed by pharmacies.
There are many side effects, one of which is bleeding. More than 3 million women in the United States have used the drug since getting approval, according to the FDA.
Several FDA-mandated safety requirements remain in effect, including training requirements to certify that prescribers can provide emergency care in the case of excessive bleeding. A certification is necessary for Pharmacies that distribute the pills.
The statement from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists said that the FDA change didn’t mandate that drugstores must stock or sell the drug, nor did it supersede state laws that prevent prescribers from using the drug.
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“In terms of whether or not that is going to have any impact in states where abortion is banned, I think the answer is probably not,” Grossman said. “I don’t see any real effect there.”
It is not clear which other pharmacies will seek certification or how it will affect abortion access in places that are banned or restricted.
Walgreens said in a statement Wednesday it is working through the registration, necessary training of their chemists, as well as evaluating the network of drugstores to make sure that products with extra FDA requirements won’t be thrown away.
“At the onset of the pandemic, Honeybee Health quickly became the first digital pharmacy to supply and ship medication abortion. The manufacturer will be helping set the high standards required for certification in response to the FDA’s adjustment to the REMS program, as well as partnering with the majority of telemedicine abortion providers in the US. REMS refers to the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy program for mifepristone.
The certification process can be very complicated for many pharmacies and they will take some time to review and decide.
“Mifepristone is not the kind of drug for which any kind of pharmacy certification is normally required,” Grossman said. It seems that the pharmacy certification regime is much more difficult than one would think for a random drug.
In places where abortion was banned or heavily restricted before the FDA update, it remains banned or restricted, said Elizabeth Nash, a principal policy associate of state issues at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health nonprofit.
There are lawyers who are looking at where that can happen, and we don’t believe that anyone should be forced to travel in that way.
He asked, “Would a state that was prosecuting somebody for diversion have access to those records? Because if they do, then that is a disincentive to providing it to people in states that are banning it.”
In a dissent penned by Justice John Kittredge and joined by Justice George James, Kittredge said he would honor the policy decision made by the General Assembly.
South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster blasted the ruling on Thursday, writing in a statement that the court “has found a right in our Constitution which was never intended by the people of South Carolina.”
The opinion of the court clearly exceeded its authority. The people have spoken through their elected representatives multiple times on this issue. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to correct this error,” the governor said.
The decision, however, was applauded by the White House, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre writing in a tweet that the Biden administration is “encouraged by South Carolina’s Supreme Court ruling today on the state’s extreme and dangerous abortion ban.”
According to a lawsuit filed in July of last year, the law is not in line with South Carolina’s constitution, because it bars the procedure for six weeks.
There is a newly proven, promising path to restore and safeguard these rights in many states, including some politically conservative ones controlled by Republicans.
In the 2022 midterm elections, many Americans went to the polls and sent a powerful signal about their unhappiness with the court’s decision on Roe. In each state where people had the chance to vote on abortion rights through ballot measures, they chose to protect and preserve access. In key races in Pennsylvania, Arizona and other battleground states where abortion was a factor, reproductive rights have been such a force in electoral politics.
The fact that most Americans support at least some access to legal abortion has made supporters of abortion rights use the best strategies available.
But the latest approach by abortion opponents to disrupt access in blue states is an archaic law: the Comstock Act, passed in 1873 mainly to target what Anthony Comstock, an anti-vice crusader, viewed as dirty books. Comstock, who was made a special agent of the US Postal Service, was obsessed by what he saw as the decaying morals of a country preoccupied with sex.
After Comstock died, Americans had second thoughts about his crusade and the courts began to limit the application of the law. Judges suggested that there were lawful uses of some drugs, like contraceptives, and that the Comstock Act applied only to those who intended to violate the law. That meant that doctors validly prescribing certain medications might be exempt from the Comstock Act, as would patients acting under a physician’s advice.
Some members of the antiabortion movement are pushing for a comeback for the Comstock Act, fighting for local ordinances that assert an obligation to follow federal law, including the Comstock Act.
The judge who holds one of the definitive votes in abortions wrote in the summer that he is unlikely to reverse course in the near term. The anti- abortion movement may be able to get the equivalent of a ban on abortion medication without the Supreme Court having to follow the will of the voters.
For those in blue states, this growing focus on the Comstock Act should be a wakeup call. Now is the time to begin working toward the repeal of the law.
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The First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, but it may be violated by the law’s contraceptive provisions. But the law’s provisions on abortion face no obstacles (and the Supreme Court’s willingness to protect birth control is certainly in question if the Court consistently applies the test it laid out in its decision last summer overruling Roe v. Wade).
“After two decades of engaging the FDA to no avail, plaintiffs now ask this court to do what the FDA was and is legally required to do: protect women and girls by holding unlawful, setting aside, and vacating the FDA’s actions to approve chemical abortion drugs and eviscerate crucial safeguards for those who undergo this dangerous drug regimen,” the complaint reads.
Reproductive rights advocates say that if Kacsmaryk sides with the plaintiffs, “it would eliminate the most commonly used method of abortion care,” according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
“More generally, if longstanding FDA drug approvals were so easily enjoined, even decades after being issued, pharmaceutical companies would be unable to confidently rely on FDA approval decisions to develop the pharmaceutical-drug infrastructure that Americans depend on to treat a variety of health conditions,” the FDA wrote.
The company is called Danco. It sells one drug: Mifeprex,” lawyers for the company wrote in court papers. “Entering the mandatory preliminary injunction plaintiffs seek would force FDA to withdraw approval for Danco’s only product, effectively shuttering Danco’s business.”
Danco, which makes mifepristone, also made a similar request to the FDA’s in a court filing, stressing that the lawsuit could decimate the company’s business.
He has presided over 98% of the civil cases brought in Amarillo, Texas, for the policies of President Joe Biden.
The Biden administration tried to end the so-called “Remain in Mexico” program in December. He has been involved with cases in Texas challenging vaccine mandates, the gender identity guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the administration’s limits on the use of Covid-19 relief funds for tax cuts.
The White House biography says Kacsmaryk was a deputy general counsel at First Liberty Institute, where he worked on religious liberty litigation and briefs for the US Supreme Court.
The case is being closely watched by a number of interested parties, including Republican and Democratic state attorneys general. On Friday, two different multi-state coalitions filed amicus briefs with the court urging them to act one way or another in the matter.
A coalition of 22 Republican attorneys general are trying to get a preliminary injunction, arguing that the FDA exceeded its authority in approving the medication.
Abortion rights advocates have sounded the alarm on the case, stressing that a ruling by Kacsmaryk in favor of the plaintiffs would affect every corner of the country since the lawsuit is targeting a federal agency.
And activists are mobilizing in Texas around the issue, with the Women’s March planning to hold a rally at the federal courthouse in Amarillo, Texas, on Saturday.
Rachel Carmona, the executive director of Women’s March said that legal challenges like these are just the latest example of how our fight is bigger than abortion.
Reply to FDA Proposed rulemaking” [Comment on ‘Fast-Flavor-Anomalous Observations and Analysis of the Cosmic Variable’]
The FDA filed a notice of proposed rulemaking on Friday, which the people in the case submitted a response to. The case is ripe for judgment after the separate response to Danco is submitted, since all required briefings have been filed.