“A dangerous overstep that politicizes the very basis of public health”: PHI Statement on Mifepristone Ruling

On Friday April 21, 2023, the Supreme Court ruled that Mifepristone could remain on the market pending further legal review, preserving the FDA’s authority to approve and regulate drugs and medicine. PHI’s original statement on the judiciary system’s roles and responsibilities still stands. Read the full statement below:

Statement from Mary A. Pittman, President and CEO of the Public Health Institute

“The Public Health Institute is alarmed by the implications of U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling last week, which ordered a hold on federal approval of mifepristone. Mifepristone, in combination with misoprostol, is used globally for safe, private and inexpensive early abortion. The decision has grim implications for gender and reproductive health and justice in the United States, and for the importance of the evidence, science and data which undergird health and public health.

“Access to safe, affordable abortion is a human right and a critical part of reproductive justice, economic security, and good health. As the right to abortion in some states has been chipped away or removed entirely by politicized legislative, judicial and executive actions, access to abortion pills has proved vital to the ability of clinics and physicians to support thousands of clients terminating pregnancies for health and personal reasons, and for those choosing to manage abortion safely and privately at home. Withdrawing access to a medication that has been used to manage abortions for decades endangers women’s health, lives and rights. Mifepristone must continue to be an option to safely manage abortion care.

“It is outside the roles and responsibilities of our judicial system to rule on the health and safety of medicine. Evidence and rigorous science should determine the efficacy and safety of the products that are brought to market—certainly not politics, or religious beliefs. Kacsmaryk’s ruling, if not overturned, has chilling implications for any medication on the market—especially those that benefit our most systemically excluded communities—and on the entire authority of the FDA. 

“This is an untenable and dangerous overstep that politicizes the very basis of public health, science and healthcare.” 

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