UltraViolet Calls Mifepristone Appeals Decision “A Massive Blow” After 5th Circuit Bans Mail Distribution & Implements 7-Week Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 13, 2023

CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | anna@unbendablemedia.com


UltraViolet Calls Mifepristone Appeals Decision “A Massive Blow” After 5th Circuit Bans Mail Distribution & Implements 7-Week Ban  

5th Circuit Court of Appeals bans access to mifepristone after 7 weeks & bars mail distribution of drug

Last night, a federal appeals court agreed to maintain the availability of mifepristone, one of the nation’s most commonly prescribed FDA approved abortion medications, but under strict conditions that prohibit its use beyond seven weeks of pregnancy and bar its distribution by mail.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to temporarily block Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling that suspended the FDA’s approval of the drug, but permitted blocking the agency’s seven-year effort to expand access nationwide.

In response to the decision, Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, a leading gender rights advocacy organization, issued the following statement:

“The 5th Circuit’s decision will severely limit access to mifepristone nationwide. This is a massive blow to reproductive rights in the United States. Even so, our fight here is far from over.

“Mifepristone is a safe, legal FDA approved medication. The court’s politically motivated decision to curtail access to this life saving drug, despite its availability for the past twenty-three years, is detrimental to us all.

“By barring access to mifepristone after seven weeks, and prohibiting its distribution through the mail, we are thwarting access to a drug that was already heavily regulated by the FDA. Last year, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. This year, lower courts are chipping away at basic forms of access to reproductive healthcare. Abortion rights have been under attack by some of the nation’s most powerful lawmakers and public officials for years. This decision is a brutal reminder of what’s at stake.

 “As such, we urge pharmaceutical corporations and insurance corporations to step up now more than ever. Pharmaceutical companies must speak out against these rulings. Health insurance companies must expand coverage to abortion care for as many people and in as many states as possible.

“Last night’s decision should sound the alarm for anyone who supports access to reproductive healthcare. Mifepristone saves lives. Your support is needed now more than ever.”

In anticipation of the ruling last month, UltraViolet called on:

  • Retail Pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, Walmart, and Target provide mifepristone to customers, and release public statements about the safety and efficacy of the drug and brand commitments to provide it to their customers;

  • The FDA and the Biden Administration to ignore the ruling — a single federal district court judge should not have the power to halt an entire government agency’s authority, especially not over a proven, safe medication available for more than twenty years;

  • Governors to cut ties to pharmaceutical providers who refuse to dispense mifepristone, and for State Attorney Generals to give assurances to providers that they will be protected from litigation if they continue to provide mifepristone;

  • All insurance providers must cover abortion care, even in the face of this potential ban, and speak out against the ruling.

Last month, UltraViolet commissioned a mobile billboard in Phoenix, AZ at the American Pharmacists Association Conference, urging pharmacists to continue advocating for the protection of access to mifepristone.

VIEW THE PHOTOS HERE: https://dam.gettyimages.com/assignments/ultraviolet-calls-on-pharmacists-to-reaffirm


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