April 8, 2023

ACS Statement In Response to Lower Court Decisions on Medication Abortion

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez, 

Washington, DC —  Today, two U.S. District Court judges issued conflicting opinions on the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas declared the FDA’s approval unlawful in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, staying his decision for seven days to allow the federal government to appeal. U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice of the Eastern District of Washington separately issued a preliminary injunction in Washington v. FDA, enjoining the FDA from altering the status quo as it relates to mifepristone’s availability.

“Most importantly, mifepristone today remains legally available and people should continue to seek out the medical care they want and need. Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision defies all reason and rationality in its unabashed partisan result,” said American Constitution Society (ACS) President Russ Feingold. “The decision out of the Northern District of Texas is more than judicial recklessness; it is tyrannical judicial activism. These conflicting opinions are further evidence that we're moving ever closer to having two judicial systems in this country, one based in law and fact and one based purely in ideology.”

“In substituting his judgment for the FDA’s on a scientific determination for a drug that’s been used widely and safely for over 20 years, Judge Kacsmaryk has caused further chaos and confusion to patients and providers in every state,” said ACS Senior Director for Policy and Program Lindsay Langholz. “While these cases will almost certainly be further litigated in our federal courts, it remains clear that the anti-abortion movement is determined to ban all abortion services in this country and continues to seek out federal judges who care not for law or reason, but only for ideology and political power, to do their bidding. Judge Kacsmaryk obliged, issuing a horrific opinion that will do significant damage to pregnant people across the country if it is allowed to go into effect.”


The American Constitution Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan legal organization. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, advocates, and many others, our mission is to support and advocate for laws and legal systems that strengthen our democratic legitimacy, uphold the rule of law, and redress the founding failures of our Constitution and enduring inequities in our laws in pursuit of realized equality. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter @acslaw.