OAKLAND, April 10, 2023 — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a multistate coalition of 24 states in support of the Biden Administration’s challenge to a recent Texas district court ruling severely restricting Americans’ access to reproductive care. In a ruling issued on Friday in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al. v. FDA, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to suspend its 23-year-old approval of mifepristone, widely used in medication abortion. After the Biden Administration filed an application for emergency stay today to block the Texas court’s order, Attorney General Bonta and the 23 states filed an amicus brief in support of their application for emergency stay, arguing that access to medication abortion helps protect the health and lives of their residents, and that the Texas court’s order could have devastating impacts on millions of people across the country.
“The more that anti-abortion states try to roll back reproductive freedoms, the harder we will fight to defend them,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Medication abortion is safe, promotes health and wellbeing, empowers communities, and saves lives. We need to do everything in our power to expand access to mifepristone, not restrict it further. California strongly supports the Biden Administration in its effort to block the Texas court’s dangerous and irresponsible decision. As some try to take us back a half-century, we are working harder to defend and expand access to reproductive care — in California and beyond.”
Abortion remains legal, safe, and accessible in California. On Friday, after the Texas court ruled to block access to mifepristone, Attorney General Bonta emphasized California’s commitment to reproductive freedom and highlighted protections for abortion seekers in this state that remain unaffected by the court’s ruling.
Mifepristone is a safe and effective medication prescribed to patients who need critical, time-sensitive reproductive care, including for abortions and the treatment of miscarriages. Studies show that medication abortion allows people to get reproductive care as early as possible when it is safest, least expensive, and least invasive. It plays an important role in reducing barriers and promoting equitable access to healthcare, particularly for those who live in rural and underserved communities. Mifepristone is considered incredibly safe to use as less than 1% of patients face any serious side effects — a lower risk of complications than that of wisdom tooth removal, colonoscopy, or Viagra use.
In an effort to ensure continued access to mifepristone, the federal government today filed an application in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for an emergency stay on the Texas court order. In their amicus brief supporting the application, the coalition of 24 states argued that if allowed to take effect, the Texas court’s ruling would:
- Jeopardize the health, safety, and financial wellbeing of many pregnant people, by disrupting access to medication abortion;
- Deepen healthcare disparities by disproportionately impacting groups already underserved by the healthcare system, including people of color, low-income individuals, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals;
- Add more stress to an already overwhelmed healthcare system by causing a drastic increase in pregnant patients forced to seek invasive procedures from hospitals and medical clinics already stretched thin; and
- Violate the rights of sovereign states that made policy decisions to promote access to abortion care for their residents.
In filing today’s amicus brief, Attorney General Bonta was joined by the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
A copy of today’s amicus brief can be found here.