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Texas Judge’s decision – which will not go into effect for 7 days – seeks to remove mifepristone from the market nationwide, including in Massachusetts 

BOSTON - Today, in an unprecedented and harmful decision, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the FDA’s (U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s) approval of mifepristone — one of the two medications used in the most common medication abortion regimen in the U.S. — was unlawful, threatening access nationwide. The decision is supposed to go into effect in seven days. Regardless of the long-term implications of this case, abortion is still legal in Massachusetts and patients will continue to be able to access medication abortion. 

“This decision will not deter us for one minute from our work to expand access to abortion and all sexual and reproductive health care in Massachusetts, and it makes our local efforts to invest in abortion providers and pass measures that will remove remaining barriers to care even more urgent,” said Ellen Frank, Interim President and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM). “PPLM is still providing medication abortion care as usual in our health centers and via telehealth and is fully prepared to continue offering care with misoprostol, the other medication that safely and effectively ends a pregnancy, if necessary. As always, anyone seeking abortion care can call Planned Parenthood’s health centers to learn more about abortion options and decide what kind of care will work best for them.”  

“This decision has no basis in medicine or interest in public health. While this decision has not yet taken effect, eliminating mifepristone – a medication with a 99% safety rate – from the market will severely compromise abortion access, will force health care providers to offer medication for abortion and for miscarriage management that is both less effective and with more severe side effects, and will limit patients’ ability to choose the method of care that is best for them,” said Dr. Danielle Roncari, Vice President of Medical Services at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. “It’s outrageous that one judge’s decision has forced providers to worry about losing the ability to prescribe a medication that has a 99% safety record, decades of evidenced-based research affirming its safety and efficacy, and that our patients rely on every day. No matter what, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts will continue to do whatever we can to ensure our patients can access the care that is best for them with as few barriers as possible.”  

Medication abortion is safe, effective, and common. Since the FDA approved mifepristone in 2000, it has been used by more than five million people to safely and effectively end a pregnancy. Currently, more than half of abortions nationwide – and nearly half of abortions in Massachusetts – are medication abortions, most commonly with a two-step regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol, that can be administered up to 11 weeks of pregnancy. In many parts of the world, misoprostol is the primary method of medication abortion care due to the unavailability of mifepristone, and abortion providers in the United States have been using misoprostol-only medication abortion for many years as an additional option for patients. Misoprostol-only medication abortion works to end a pregnancy about 85-95% of the time, whereas the mifepristone-misoprostol regimen is 87-99% effective.  

Abortion is legal in Massachusetts and access can still be expanded. “This attempt to ban mifepristone makes the action we take now to make other methods of abortion, as well as contraceptives and sex education, more accessible statewide matter more than ever,” said Nate Horwitz-Willis, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts. “We’re fighting for legislation that will further remove barriers to abortion and contraception, make telehealth for sexual and reproductive health care more equitably accessible, and ensure more young people receive sex education that is medically accurate, age appropriate, and inclusive.” Read PPLM’s legislative agenda here. 

About Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts: 

Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) is the state’s leading provider of sexual and reproductive health services and has been a leader in promoting sexual health for more than 90 years. We believe that all people deserve the information and expert services to make informed, personal decisions that affect their health, their lives and their futures. The mission of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is to ensure every person in the state has access to sexual and reproductive health care and education no matter who they are, where they live, or who they love. Our work is informed by research, powered by advocacy, and conducted with compassion and respect.