Skip to content

Hirono Condemns Texas Judge’s Decision Banning Medication Abortion Drug Nationwide

Hirono: “By prohibiting the use of this safe and effective drug, this ideologically-driven decision will endanger women’s safety and further erode their right to make decisions about their bodies and their futures.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement in response to a Trump-appointed, right-wing U.S. District Court Judge’s decision that would effectively ban the drug most commonly prescribed for medication abortion nationwide. The lawsuit, which was filed last November by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine—a coalition of anti-abortion medical associations and doctors—sought a preliminary and permanent injunction ordering the FDA to withdraw approval for mifepristone, which it issued over 20 years ago. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump-appointed Judge for the Northern District of Texas, sided with the anti-abortion rights group, suspending the FDA’s approval of this drug, which has been used safely and effectively for 20 years by over 5 million women.

“Today’s decision is the latest blow in the right’s all-out assault on women’s bodily autonomy. As if overturning Roe wasn’t extreme enough, a Trump-appointed judge has now unilaterally ruled to outlaw access to medication abortion for women across the entire country, upending the considered decision of FDA experts. If this radical decision goes into effect, even in states like Hawaii and other states where abortion remains legal, women will not be able to access this medication.

“Medication abortions account for more than 50% of all abortions in the U.S. and Mifepristone is also used to help manage early-pregnancy miscarriages. As more and more states outlaw or restrict abortion, Mifepristone is critical for women to safely access abortion care across the country. The American Medical Association and more than a dozen other leading medical organizations have made it clear that this drug is safe and that banning its use would have disastrous consequences for women across our country. By prohibiting the use of this safe and effective drug, this ideologically-driven decision will endanger women’s safety and further erode their right to make decisions about their bodies and their futures.

“It is outrageous that one person—a Trump-appointed far-right activist judge who is presiding over this case only after obvious judge-shopping—has the ability to overturn settled medical practice on a whim and decide whether women across the country can access medical care, including in life-threatening situations. The Biden Administration should immediately appeal this ruling and do everything in its power to protect access to mifepristone and all reproductive care. I’ll continue working to reform our courts to end this kind of blatant judge-shopping and fighting to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify the fundamental right to abortion in federal law.”

In November 2022, the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine filed a complaint against the FDA alleging that the agency lacked the authority in 2000 to grant accelerated approval for mifepristone. Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision, if it goes into effect, will effectively force the FDA to withdraw approval of this safe, effective medication abortion drug and restricts access to the medication through telemedicine, mail delivery, and pharmacies.

A long-time champion for abortion access, Senator Hirono is committed to protecting the fundamental right to abortion care for all. Last week, she led a letter to Danco Laboratories, a manufacturer of mifepristone, urging them to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add miscarriage management to the medication’s label—which currently only includes medication abortion but can also be safely and legally used for miscarriage management. In November, she also sent a letter to the FDA Commissioner encouraging the agency to defend Americans’ reproductive rights, and to consider steps to protect and expand access to medication abortion. Last August, Senator Hirono also sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging concrete action to help meet President Biden’s goal of protecting and expanding access to medication abortion.