Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Schumer, Murray, Sanders, Durbin, Blumenthal, and a total of 253 members of Congress on an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the case of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, urging the Court to reverse the district court’s stay on the FDA’s more than 20-year-old approval of the abortion pill, mifepristone. In April, the Supreme Court issued a stay of the lower court ruling that allows the abortion pill to remain on the market while the case is under review.
Cortez Masto and her colleagues argued that the district court’s decision has no basis in law, poses a serious health risk to pregnant women and other individuals by denying patients in every part of the country access to mifepristone—a safe and effective medication widely used in abortion care and miscarriage management for years—and threatens patients’ access to a wide array of other medications by threatening FDA’s drug approval process, which is based on an independent and unbiased review of the scientific evidence and is designed and mandated by Congress. Accordingly, they ask the Fifth Circuit to reverse the district court’s order.
“FDA’s determination that mifepristone is safe and effective is based on a thorough and comprehensive review process prescribed and overseen by the legislative branch,” the lawmakers wrote. “Since mifepristone’s initial approval in 2000, FDA has repeatedly and consistently affirmed that the medication is safe and effective for its approved conditions of use. FDA’s process and conclusions have been validated by both Congress and the Government Accountability Office—and by the lived experience of over 5 million patients who have used the drug in the United States.”
The lawmakers’ amicus brief to the Fifth Circuit can be read in full HERE.
Senator Cortez Masto has been fierce advocate for women’s reproductive rights. After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Senator Cortez Masto introduced the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022 to ensure legal protections for women traveling across state lines to receive reproductive care. She has urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect the data privacy of women seeking reproductive health care and introduced legislation to make sure women across the country have access to affordable over-the-counter birth control. Just last month she took on one of the nation’s biggest pharmaceutical wholesalers to ensure Nevadans can access the abortion pill in retail pharmacies, including Walgreens.