A federal judge in Texas is expected to soon rule on a case brought by anti-abortion activists that could force the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to withdraw its 23-year approval of mifepristone, one of two pills widely used in medication abortion. The case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, threatens the FDA’s evidence-based process and could have far-reaching consequences for medical interventions and advancements.
This frivolous lawsuit, which could further undermine what little is left of abortion access, can be traced back to anti-abortion operatives in Missouri. It wasn’t enough that Missouri was the first state to ban abortion just minutes after the Dobbs decision. Missourians in power are at the helm of dismantling reproductive freedom for people across the country. We’ve long said what happens in Missouri never stays in Missouri. Here’s how:
Early threats against medication abortion
On Feb. 1, following the FDA’s decision allowing licensed pharmacies to dispense medication abortion, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey sent an open letter to Walgreens and CVS “warning” them against providing medication abortion in Missouri where abortion is already banned. Bailey’s political showmanship is just another example of threats and intimidation tactics escalating against public health providers and their patients navigating a post-Roe reality.
Building a case on lies and misinformation.
On Feb. 10, Missouri Solicitor General Josh Devine, an anti-science Federalist Society extremist, filed an amicus brief in the FDA case, pushing debunked allegations against what was Missouri’s last remaining abortion provider and another Planned Parenthood clinic. In 2019, a Missouri judge ruled against Devine’s predecessor, finding the state’s claims to be unfounded.
But, what happens in Missouri never stays in Missouri.
In fact, in that same 2019 case, the state admitted to tracking people’s menstrual cycles, a disturbing state-sanctioned surveillance tactic that is now unfolding in Florida.
She’s a regular Phyllis Schlafly
Erin Morrow Hawley, Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley’s wife, is senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a faith-based firm weaponizing ideology to dismantle the FDA’s scientific process, and co-counsel in the FDA case. ADF describes itself as “the world’s largest legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, the sanctity of life, parental rights, and God’s design for marriage and family” and is also behind the anti-trans policies sweeping the country state after state.
Ms. Hawley utilizes media to build her public profile as a “wife, mother, and lawyer” on the frontlines of banning abortion. Like Phyllis Schlafly, a St. Louis conservative wife, mother, and attorney, who was anti-abortion, homophobic, and led the charge against the Equal Rights Amendment, Hawley, too, touts her higher education, gender, and motherhood to gain credibility in her charge against reproductive freedom. She is now leading the case that could ban mifepristone, one of the safest medications on the market.
The facts about mifepristone:
- Mifepristone is safe, effective, and has been used by more than five million people since the FDA approved it 23 years ago.
- There is overwhelming evidence that medication abortion is safe and effective for virtually anyone who wants to end an early pregnancy, with a safety record of over 99%.
- According to the CDC, more than half of the abortions in the U.S. in 2020 were medication abortions.