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Mifepristone. Photo: Robin Marty, Wikicommons.

Missouri files lawsuit in fight against mail-order abortion drugs

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey on Monday filed a lawsuit seeking to consolidate a major challenge to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of at-home abortion drugs sent by mail. The request comes after the Justice Department and the manufacturer of the widely used abortion drug Mifepristone asked the Supreme Court in early September to reverse a lower court ruling that, if allowed to go into effect, would restrict access to the controversial drug.

“Unelected federal bureaucrats do not have the statutory authority to approve the shipment of these dangerous chemical abortion drugs in the mail,” Bailey said.

Bailey is joined by Idaho and Kansas in a new suit calling on a Texas federal district court to “combine this complaint with the existing lawsuit over the same matter brought by doctors across the country, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA.” The new complaint filed by the three states seeks to join a major lawsuit led by Alliance Defending Freedom, which has led numerous landmark cases at the high court.

Mifepristone remains available and is not subject to restrictions that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has said should be imposed on its use. Those restrictions would not apply until all legal challenges are resolved, thanks to an April order by the Supreme Court. The 5th Circuit has rejected the claim that the drug should be taken off the market.

ADF senior counsel Erin Hawley said she was encouraged by the three states intervening in the case. “As someone who knows the state of Missouri and its people very well, it is encouraging to see Missouri, along with Kansas and Idaho, intervene in this important case to protect the health and well-being of women and girls,” she said.

Missouri’s complaint specifically seeks an injunction against the 2016 rollback of most of the safety precautions the FDA had put in place when it approved mifepristone in 2000, the 2019 FDA approval of generic mifepristone, and the 2021 and 2023 policy allowing these drugs to be sent by mail.

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