WBASNY Opposes Staying the Approval of Mifepristone

WBASNY Opposes Staying the Approval of Mifepristone

New York, NY, Monday, April 10, 2023 – The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) strongly opposes the April 7, 2023 Preliminary Ruling of U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas staying the FDA’s September 28, 2000, effective date of approval of Mifepristone. Mifepristone has been safely used by millions of women for abortion, stillbirth, and miscarriage for almost 23 years. Medication abortion has been a reliable, affordable, and accessible way for women and girls to obtain an abortion. Mifepristone is taken in combination with Misoprostol to induce a safe abortion. This two-drug regimen is utilized in more than half of abortions nationwide and is widely considered the standard of care.

WBASNY remains firm and unwavering in its longstanding commitment to a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices, including choosing, in consultation with medical personnel, the manner in which she decides to obtain an abortion. WBASNY decries the Texas Northern District Court’s ruling as flagrantly unjust due to the irreparable harm it will cause to women throughout the United States. The decision is likely to have a chilling effect on women’s access to abortion and reproductive health services.

The preliminary ruling also creates a critical public health crisis for women in this country who seek an abortion and have been advised that the least expensive, safest and most effective means to do so is with the use of Mifepristone. Without the use of Mifepristone, women will be forced to obtain less safe and more expensive surgical abortions. This is another dangerous attack on women, and in particular, poor and disadvantaged women, women of color, and survivors of gender-based violence. The decision will inevitably increase the inequities in accessing abortion and reproductive health services.

The Court Order purports to rule that FDA approval is overridden even in states, like New York, where abortion remains available. FDA approval of a drug that has been used for almost 23 years throughout this country should not be decided by a District Judge who sits in Texas.

WBASNY acknowledges and commends Governor Kathy Hochul for standing up for what is right by stating: “This ruling opens a new door to politicizing medicine. Extremists will not stop at stripping away abortion rights. They are working to dismantle the entire reproductive healthcare system. Abortion is still available in New York. If you need care, we welcome you with open arms.”

WBASNY President Deborah G. Rosenthal commented that “WBASNY persists as a strong supporter of a woman’s fundamental right to make her own reproductive health decisions and vehemently opposes the Order from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas which purports to stay the FDA’s September 28, 2000, effective date of approval of Mifepristone.”

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The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) is the professional membership organization of choice for nearly 4,000 attorneys throughout New York State and the largest statewide women’s bar association in the country. For more than four decades, WBASNY has been a singularly important resource for women lawyers, providing professional networking, continuing legal education programming, leadership training, and advocacy for the rights of women, children, and families. Through involvement with WBASNY’s 20 regional chapters and its 40-plus substantive law committees, WBASNY’s members collaborate with one another on a variety of issues and perform public and community service, in furtherance of its mission to promote the advancement of the status of women in society and women in the legal profession; to promote the fair and equal administration of justice; and to act as a unified voice for its members with respect to issues of statewide, national and international significance to women generally and women attorneys in particular. WBASNY holds United Nations NGO status with the U.N.’s Department of Public Information, and Special Consultative status in association with the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). WBASNY is also a founding member of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations.