Headline RoundupMarch 3rd, 2023

Abortion Pill Ruling Could End FDA Approval of Key Drug

AllSides Summary

A ruling is expected soon in a case that could limit access to a key abortion pill, reigniting national discourse on the issue. 

The Details: A coalition of conservative and pro-life groups sued the FDA in November, alleging that the drug regulator “exceeded its regulatory authority” and neglected its own standards when it approved mifepristone, an abortion pill, in 2000. If U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk sides with the group, the FDA’s approval could be vacated, and mifepristone could be removed from the market.

For Context: Today, the FDA says the drug is “safe when used as indicated and directed,” adding that periodic reviews “have not identified any new safety concerns.” However, some pro-life critics have noted a risk of bleeding after using abortion pills. Pills account for over half of the abortions in the U.S.; according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights group, 98% of those abortions use a combination of mifepristone and another drug, misoprostol, which can still end a pregnancy on its own. 

Related News: Walgreens said Thursday that it was not distributing mifepristone and that it did not intend to distribute it — in stores or by mail — in 20 states where attorneys general had said it would be illegal. 

How the Media Covered It: Generally, perspectives in right-rated outlets were supportive of the lawsuit, and perspectives in left-rated outlets were opposed. Some health writers in center-rated outlets warned against politicizing the issue. 

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