Ahead of a federal lawsuit banning chemical abortions, two rallies have already taken place in downtown Amarillo. One rally was held by pro-abortion groups, while the other was held by Texas pro-life groups.

In the case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Association, pro-life groups have banded together against two federal agencies—the U.S. Food and Drug Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—in order to force abortion-inducing drugs to be removed from shelves.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017, presides over the federal court where the lawsuit was filed. Both sides rallied to influence the judge and get attention.

The Women’s March, host of the pro-abortion rally, is currently working with several churches, congregations, and local groups to promote abortion access as healthcare, said executive director Rachel O’Leary Carmona.

“Encroachments into personal autonomy, and reproductive freedom, and constitutionally protected rights, should worry anybody,” said O’Leary Carmona.

Other groups, siding with the lawsuit’s pro-life argument, are hoping Kacsmaryk will rule in favor of the lives of the unborn.

The Stand for Life, the pro-life rally, featured speakers including Mark Lee Dickson of Right to Life East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative.

“Abortion-inducing drugs are not safe for mothers, and they are, most certainly, not safe for their unborn children,” said Dickson.

Dickson explained that the Biden administration wants abortion to be readily accessible across the country and they are pushing that in every way they can, “even if it means ignoring the plain reading of federal laws and adopting bizarre interpretations of those federal laws in order to do so.”

“The Biden administration is attempting to use the FDA to make abortion-inducing drugs more accessible than ever,” Dickson continued. “This lawsuit, filed by medical professionals, really was filed with the best interest of pregnant mothers across America in mind.”

The Lawsuit Background

Following the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Biden administration and other Democrats throughout the United States have fought to make abortions as “widely accessible as possible.”

Recently, the Biden administration and the Food and Drug Administration moved to force pharmacies to give the drugs out “over the counter” and allow the drugs to be attained through telehealth and then mailed to users.

In late 2022, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed its  lawsuit to block the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, one of two abortion-inducing drugs.

The suit lists the first argument AHM had against the FDA, explaining the FDA “never had the authority to approve these drugs for sale.”

Allegedly, the FDA approved the abortion drug, mifepristone. Federal law authorizes the FDA to grant “accelerated approval” of “certain new drug products that have been studied for their safety and effectiveness in treating serious or life-threatening illnesses and that provide meaningful therapeutic benefit to patients over existing treatments.”

The FDA’s approval of mifepristone under federal law labeled pregnancy as a “serious” or “life-threatening” illness; the suit argues the opposite.

The suit alleges “chemical abortion drugs do not provide a ‘meaningful therapeutic benefit’ to women and girls over existing treatments.” In fact, the approval of abortion drugs has “potentially serious and life-threatening effects on women and girls,” the suit says.

Despite the possibility that the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone could negatively  affect adolescent girls’ developing bodies and reproductive systems, the suit says the FDA refused to test the impact of the drugs on girls under 18 years old.

Instead of removing mifepristone from shelves, the FDA has sought to continue to expand access to and eliminate multiple safeguards surrounding the abortion drug.

The FDA began increasing access to chemical abortion drugs in 2016 by increasing the gestational age at which a pregnant mother may get a chemical abortion from 49 days to 70 days. The followed this move with changing dosages required, reducing the number of required in-person­ office visits from 3 to 1, and eliminating the requirement for prescribers to “report nonfatal adverse events from chemical abortion – thus ensuring that the FDA and the public would never learn of the dangers and injuries that would befall women and girls from removing these safeguards.”

The lawsuit aims to “protect women and girls by holding unlawful, setting aside, and vacating the FDA’s actions to approve and eliminate the safeguards for those who take chemical abortion drugs.”

In attempts to sway the court ruling, multiple amicus briefs were filed by outside organizations and attorneys general from across the country. Almost a dozen AGs joined New York’s amicus brief in attempts to sway the court to rule in favor of chemical abortions, and another almost two dozen AGs joined Mississippi’s amicus brief to convince the court to do the opposite.

The trial is set for February 24, 2023.

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.