In a High-Stakes Hearing, a Judge Will Consider Whether to Order an Abortion Pill Off the Market

A lawsuit filed in Texas challenges the FDA approval of medications used to terminate a pregnancy. The judge has been asked to halt access to one drug nationwide.

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Two generic Methotrexate pills poured from a prescription medication bottle onto a white surface.

A federal judge in Texas will hold a hearing on Wednesday in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the pills used in medication abortions.

The coalition of anti-abortion groups behind the suit, called the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, has requested a preliminary injunction to take one of the two drugs, mifepristone, off the market nationwide while the case proceeds.

That request is the focus of Wednesday’s hearing, scheduled for 9 a.m. local time, though it is not known when U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk will issue his decision — it could come Wednesday or in the following days or weeks.

More than half of women who terminate their pregnancies in the U.S. do so via medication abortion. If access to mifepristone is halted, those seeking an abortion, and their providers, would have to choose between a surgical procedure or taking the other medication in the regimen, misoprostol, off-label on its own.

The lawsuit, filed in November, alleges that the FDA did not adequately evaluate mifepristone’s safety before it approved the drug in 2000, and also argues the agency should not have made the medication accessible via telehealth during the pandemic. 

Read the full story on NBCNews.com here.

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