Oregon officials argue for abortion pills days before major Texas hearing

The Morning Mails

Oregon officials argue for abortion pills days before major Texas hearing

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum joined medical professionals and activists outside a Southeast Portland CVS pharmacy Sunday to bring further attention to a pending lawsuit that could compromise access to medication abortion across the U.S., including in Oregon where abortion remains legal.

The Food and Drug Administration approved abortion pill mifepristone, used with misoprostol, in 2000, but U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk is considering a case that aims to revoke the FDA approval of mifepristone. If Kacsmaryk rules as early as this week to remove the FDA approval, Wyden has asked that President Biden ignore the ruling, saying it is not based in science. “The drug has stood the test of time,” said Wyden, D-Oregon.

“Now a key piece of reproductive freedom could be stripped away from all Americans.” The first hearing for the suit, filed in November by anti-abortion advocates, is scheduled for Wednesday. However, Kacsmaryk avoided putting the court date on the docket, citing threats in the wake of the lawsuit, as first reported by . Rosenblum said the delay was highly unusual. “I was a judge for 22 years,” Rosenblum said.

“Judges should not keep secrets. When you’re going to have a hearing, you let people know.” Mifepristone, taken with misoprostol, is one of the most effective ways to end an early pregnancy, according to Dr. Maria Rodriguez, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the OHSU School of Medicine. “We know that this attack on mifepristone is going to threaten the wellbeing of those who are pregnant across our country,” Rodriquez said Sunday.

The FDA cleared the way earlier this year for , replacing doctor’s offices, hospitals and health centers as the only sources of the medication. where the drug faces additional challenges. Abortion will remain legal in Oregon, no matter the outcome of the ruling in Texas. However, the alternative routes to abortion are less effective, experts says. These options include using increased doses of misoprostol only, or undergoing surgery.

Rosenblum, meanwhile, to loosen restrictions on mifepristone, in a legal maneuver some observers see as an effort to undermine a possible ruling in Texas to block the drug. Oregon was one of the states to contribute research to the FDA’s approval of mifepristone 23 years ago, according to Dr. Alison Edelman, also a professor at OHSU. “I think Oregonians would be disappointed to think that their science didn’t matter,” Edelman said Sunday. – Austin De Dios; ; @austindedios; 503-319-9744

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