The Biden administration has officially appealed a Texas judge's ruling that would force an abortion pill to be taken off the market.
The appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit calls for a stay of U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk's ruling, which came down on Friday.
The Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone more than 20 years ago. However, a lawsuit has called into question the safety of the medication. An anti-abortion rights group claims the FDA rushed the drug’s approval, putting a patient's health at risk.
The appeal refutes that argument.
"When mifepristone is used as FDA directs, serious adverse events are exceedingly rare, just as they are for many common drugs like ibuprofen," the appeal states.
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Restricting access to the drug while the case is heard would have a major impact on women. The government notes that more than five million Americans have chosen to use mifepristone to safely end their pregnancies.
The appeal argues that staying Kacsmaryk's decision will not impact the plaintiffs. Instead, it would keep the status quo.
Mifepristone is typically prescribed with another medicine called misoprostol. The drugs are approved to end a pregnancy through 10 weeks of gestation.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, medication abortions account for more than half of all abortions in the U.S.
Kacsmaryk's ruling will go into effect on Friday if a stay is not granted before then.
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