By Dave Andrusko
In this post we will discuss two court cases. One brought by the ACLU against pro-life Tennessee legislation, the other a response by the Food and Drug Administration in which the FDA defending requirements intended to protect women who are taking chemical abortifacients.
With regard to the ACLU and Tennessee, here’s what our affiliate, Tennessee Right to Life, had to say. Under the headline “Abortion Profiteers Take TN to Court Again,” we read
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, ACLU, ACLU of Tennessee, the Center for Reproductive Rights and other for-profit abortion operators filed suit on Monday to overturn the #Prolife Abortion Pill Reversal Bill that the Tennessee Legislature passed in June.
The law, set to go into effect on October 1, would require abortion facilities to display signage informing women that a chemical (RU486) abortion may be reversed following the first dose of a two-pill protocol. It also requires a physician to directly provide the same information during informed consent, 48 hours prior to the abortion procedure.
The ACLU’s bottom line is the same boilerplate argument it continues to make about Abortion Reversal. According to Andrew Beck, “the law would require doctors to lie to patients and share misinformation that isn’t backed up by credible science.” This is a patent falsehood as we have discovered here, here, and here.
In a brief dated September 8, pro-abortion organizations and providers argued the order must remain in place. The FDA formally filed its reply brief with the Supreme Court on Thursday.
As NRL News Today has reported, on July 14, Theodore Chuang of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland issued an injunction preventing the FDA from enforcing its requirement that “women go to doctor’s offices, clinics, or hospitals to pick up the drug mifepristone, also known as mifeprex, for the duration of the public health emergency caused by the novel coronavirus,” as Bloomberg Law described it.
The FDA asked the court to stay an order that “requires the agency to allow women to get the drug by mail or delivery until the emergency ends.”
The brief, written by Jeffrey B. Wall, Acting Solicitor General, is extremely thoughtful and on point throughout. Its opening paragraphs capture the core of the defense of the FDA’s requirements:
Since 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required and repeatedly reaffirmed that patients may obtain Mifeprex or its generic equivalent (collectively, Mifeprex) only at a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office after being counseled about the drug’s risks in terminating an early pregnancy (the safety requirements). Respondents do not suggest that these longstanding safety requirements
in and of themselves have the purpose or effect of creating a substantial obstacle to abortion access. Rather, they contend that because the COVID-19 pandemic
has made going anywhere riskier or more difficult than in normal times, the Constitution mandates their suspension so that patients can obtain a medication-abortion drug by mail.
That position contravenes this Court’s precedents. As this
Court has made clear, the Constitution does not guarantee access to the abortion method of one’s choice where, as here, reasonable alternatives remain available. Nor does it
require the government to remove incidental effects on abortion access caused by an unforeseen global pandemic. Because the nationwide injunction here departs from those principles and irreparably harms the government and the public, it warrants a stay.