We are appalled by a Texas district court’s ruling to invalidate the Food and Drug Administration’s 23-year-old approval of mifepristone, a medication used in early abortion. This ruling could remove the most common form of abortion throughout the country, making mifepristone unavailable everywhere in the United States. We urge the administration and the U.S. Supreme Court to keep this FDA-approved medication on the market, so we have the freedom to make personal decisions about our health care.
Since 2000, experts at the FDA have reviewed the efficacy of mifepristone multiple times and each time have come to the same conclusion: medication abortion is safe and effective. This attack on mifepristone subverts the FDA drug approval process and our judicial system — and puts politics over science. There are many steps ahead, but the full potential of this case could be devastating.
Limits on abortion access are most harmful to young people, people of color, and people who are struggling to make ends meet, but this case harms institutions that all Americans count on: a reliable process for assessing the safety and efficacy of drugs and a judicial system that is uncompromised by political and personal agendas. This is such a broad-based threat to our health care system that 300 pharmaceutical and biotech companies wrote in an open letter, “If courts can overturn drug approvals without regard for science or evidence…any medicine is at risk for the same outcome as mifepristone.”
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has a long track record of investments in mission-driven reproductive health companies to bring safe, affordable contraceptives and medical abortion pharmaceuticals — including mifepristone — to the U.S. market. The ability to choose whether and when to have a child, to give birth safely, and to raise children in a supportive environment is essential to living a healthy, empowered life and foundational to a just and equitable society. Amid these baseless attacks on abortion, we will continue to work with our partners across the U.S. to support innovation and ensure that people have access to affordable, quality reproductive health options, including abortion care.