Facing an appeal that could make permanent a week-old Texas court decision invalidating FDA approval of mifepristone, also known as the “abortion pill,” Maryland officials have not formulated a plan to preserve access to the drug.
Gov. Wes Moore’s press secretary, Carter Elliott, said such a plan is coming “as soon as possible” and the administration is “exploring options” such as stockpiling mifepristone, which some other states have done. In the meantime, the governor, a Democrat, “will continue to do everything in his power to ensure that Maryland remains a safe haven for abortion and reproductive health care access, including access to mifepristone,” Elliott said in an email.
The U.S. Department of Justice appealed the judgement by Trump-appointed U.S. District judge and ardent abortion opponent Matthew Kacsmaryk to the conservative-leaning 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, and asked the court to issue an emergency injunction to block the removal of mifepristone from the market while the case is heard. Just before midnight last night, the appeals court stayed Kacsmaryk’s suspension of FDA approval of mifepristone, which maintains its availability in the U.S. for now.
Fifth circuit judges allowed some of Kacsmaryk’s other restrictions to take effect, such as shortening the approved gestational age at which mifepristone can be used to end a pregnancy from 10 weeks to seven weeks and prohibiting it from being sent to patients by mail.
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