OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas’s ruling in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al. v. FDA et al., ordering the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to suspend its decades-old approval of mifepristone for use in medication abortion:
“Today is another chapter in a very dark period of American history,” said Attorney General Bonta. “This decision by the court is unconscionable and unprecedented. For more than 20 years, mifepristone has been a lifeline for people in need of critical, and sometimes lifesaving, care. Access to this medication has empowered pregnant people to make the choices they want for their body, their health, and their future. Today, we see another radical court attempt to strip away that power from millions of Americans. This hurts us all — but especially people of color and people in states that have banned abortion. Let me be clear: in California, we will not back down from the fight to protect reproductive freedom. I will continue doing everything in my power to ensure that our state remains a safe haven for all those seeking, supporting, and providing reproductive care.”
On November 18, 2022, a group of plaintiffs led by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeking a preliminary injunction that would force the FDA to rescind or suspend its approval of mifepristone. On February 10, Attorney General Bonta and 21 other attorneys general across the country joined together to file an amicus brief opposing the lawsuit. Today, the Texas court granted the preliminary injunction, ordering the FDA to stay its 23-year-old approval of mifepristone, but pausing its order for seven days to allow the Biden Administration to appeal. The California Department of Justice stands ready to support the Biden Administration in any such appeal. A court in the Eastern District of Washington simultaneously released an order barring the FDA from “altering the status quo and rights as it relates to the availability of Mifepristone … in Plaintiff States.”
Abortion remains legal, safe, and accessible in California. As a reproductive freedom state, California stands by patients and providers in their continued access to medication abortion.
Mifepristone is a safe, effective medication widely used in the treatment of a range of healthcare issues, including for abortions and the treatment of miscarriages. Even if mifepristone becomes more difficult to access because of this decision, misoprostol-only abortions are likewise safe and effective. The court’s injunction did not impact the FDA’s approval of misoprostol. Studies show that medication abortion allows people to get reproductive care as early as possible when it is safest, least expensive, and least invasive, and plays an important role in reducing barriers and promoting equitable access to healthcare, particularly for those who live in rural and underserved communities.
California has taken a number of steps to protect patients who seek access to this critical, time-sensitive care and the providers and others that help patients obtain abortion care. The court’s decision does not change these protections:
California Attorney General Bonta remains committed to the fight to protect reproductive freedom in California. For more on his actions, and for key resources to assist you in obtaining reproductive healthcare, visit https://oag.ca.gov/reprorights.
If you are looking for information specific to abortions, the California Abortion Access website provides a safe space to find resources and guidance. The privacy of those who visit this website is protected, and their information is not saved or tracked.