Lawsuit seeks to reverse FDA’s ‘reckless’ approval of abortion pills
The lawsuit challenges two aspects of the FDA’s approval of an abortion pill, mifepristone, which ended weeks of controversy. (Pamela Rondeau/The Washington Post)
A leading abortion-rights group on Friday filed a lawsuit against the FDA and the government over the approval of an abortion pill, arguing that the drug mifepristone was approved for use without any clinical research demonstrating it’s safe and effective.
In a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Planned Parenthood Federation of America said the agency’s regulation of mifepristone was “arbitrary and capricious.”
The Associated Press spoke to several women who have taken the drug in the past two weeks, and said they said they had experienced side effects similar to bleeding disorder and other side-effects.
Three other companies that make the drug are also named in the lawsuit, and one has already expressed its lack of intention to move forward with production as a result of the lawsuit.
The decision to take the action comes amid a fierce debate in the United States over abortion at a time when states restrict access to the procedure at more than half of the country
Planned Parenthood has long had a highly visible presence in the Democratic party. But in the past year, its political clout has grown dramatically. The group was named to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Advisory Council and is now co-chairing the Democratic National Committee
The organization has also become increasingly vocal on social media, posting images of fetuses and urging women to “vote now”
“The people who should have been leading the charge are being forced to look like they didn’t care enough. They’ve been made irrelevant,” Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said in January in an interview with NPR.
Mifepristone, which is administered by doctors to women before a medical procedure like an abortion, was removed from the market in February after reports of heart attacks and strokes in women who used the drug.
The FDA says the drug, called Mifegyne, works by blocking the body’s production of hormones, including the progesterone needed for the uterus to contract and expel an unborn child. The drug is meant for use in cases where a woman is not capable