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What Texas’ Ruling On Abortion Pill Access Means For North Carolina

Source: The News & Observer

Republicans nationwide continue to attack reproductive health care access post-Roe v. Wade, with the latest barrier coming from a Texas judge ruling that would jeopardize access to the common abortion pill, Mifepristone.

According to The Washington Post, the Texas judge’s decision to block abortion pill access nationwide was based on an anonymous blog post that exaggerated the effects of Mifepristone and ignores scientific evidence that validates the medication’s safety.

Despite numerous medical groups, professionals and doctors relaying scientific studies that have shown the safety of the two-decade-old medication that has been used in more than half of all abortions nationwide, U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, proceeded with his ruling.

“This has never happened before in history — it’s a huge deal,” Greer Donley, a professor specializing in reproductive health care at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, told the Associated Press. “You have a federal judge who has zero scientific background second guessing every scientific decision that the FDA made.”

Following the controversial decision, another federal judge ordered U.S. authorities not to make any changes that would restrict access to the abortion pill in 17 Democratic-led states that previously sued in an effort to protect the availability for those seeking reproductive care.

In North Carolina, abortion care and Mifepristone are still safe, legal, and available for in-state, and out-of-state individuals needing the vital services. 

North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein is helping lead the charge to make abortion pill access easier for patients, as increasing attempts to restrict abortion pills have raised concerns among many health experts in the state.

Currently, patients must take the drug, Mifepristone, in person, in front of the doctor that prescribed it, after a 72-hour waiting period.

Chapel Hill OB-GYN Dr. Amy Bryant filed a lawsuit earlier this year which challenges the state’s current restrictions on the abortion medication. Dr. Bryant argues that the state’s restrictions contest regulations set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Medication abortion is safe and effective – there’s no medical reason for politicians to interfere or restrict access to it, or for states to force doctors to comply with mandates not supported by medicine or science,” Dr. Bryant said in a press release.

The defendants in the case include Attorney General Josh Stein, along with District Attorney for Chatham and Orange counties Jeff Neiman, members of the North Carolina Medical Board and Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Kody Kinsley.

“I’m part of a coalition of states that are telling the court asking the court to reject the effort of these Republican AGs to strip away from women, their reproductive freedoms, the medicated medication, abortion is incredibly safe,” Stein told WECT.

“It’s been proven effective for over two decades and for them to try to take away from women, this right to their own healthcare is very problematic, and I’m in court fighting back against them.”


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