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Governor Cooper Joins Reproductive Freedom Alliance Amicus Brief in SCOTUS Case Targeting Mifepristone

Source: NC Newsline

Recently Governor Roy Cooper joined the Reproductive Freedom Alliance in filing a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to safeguard access to mifepristone, an FDA-approved abortion medication, according to NC Newsline. The case, scheduled for oral arguments on March 26, could potentially impose significant restrictions on the drug widely used for abortions and miscarriage care.

Since its FDA approval in 2000, mifepristone, combined with misoprostol, constitutes over half of the country’s abortions and is commonly used for post-miscarriage care. Research attests to the effectiveness and low complication rates of medication abortion, making it a favored choice among patients. North Carolina’s state data reveals a substantial increase, from 23% in 2011 to 59% in 2020, in the use of medication abortions.

The lawsuit at the center of the case, initiated by the anti-abortion Alliance Defending Freedom, seeks to overturn the FDA’s approval or, at the very least, revert to pre-2016 prescribing and dosing practices. While the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed mifepristone to remain on the market, it reinstated the pre-2016 practices, potentially impacting access to the drug.

If the Supreme Court upholds this ruling, significant restrictions may be imposed, including eliminating telehealth prescriptions, limiting drug usage to seven weeks’ gestation, requiring in-person visits for prescriptions, and reverting to outdated dosage and timing guidelines.

Governor Cooper, part of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, emphasized the case’s potential threat to women’s freedom in making private medical decisions, urging the Supreme Court to protect women’s health. The Alliance, comprising 22 governors, argues that restricting mifepristone would disrupt healthcare systems, strain providers, and harm millions of women.

“More than five million people have used this safe, effective medication since the FDA approved it and this case is an extremist, political attempt to take away women’s freedom to make their own private medical decisions,” Governor Roy Cooper said in a press release. “I urge the Supreme Court to protect women’s health and overturn the Fifth Circuit’s terrible decision.”

The Alliance’s amicus curiae brief contends that challenges to reproductive health access hinder governors in safeguarding public health, with the FDA playing a crucial role. The brief warns against anti-abortion groups disrupting federal regulations, as it could undermine governors’ ability to protect public health in reproductive healthcare and beyond, posing a significant threat to state governance.

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