For Immediate Release
OTTAWA, 11 April 2023 – A lawsuit filed at the Texas Federal Court last Friday has challenged the FDA’s authorization of Mifepristone, the abortion pill approved 22 years ago in the U.S. The decision has created a nationwide de facto ban on the World Health Organization gold standard abortion pill in the country.
The decision will take effect on April 14, giving the FDA seven days from the ruling to appeal.
If allowed, the decision will have devastating implications for abortion care seekers, as more than half of abortions in the U.S. are currently performed with Mifepristone. Overturning a drug's longstanding FDA approval is unprecedented and builds on the Trump-appointed judge's record of restricting and rolling back abortion rights and 2SLGBTQIA+ rights.
The decision has no basis in fact. It is the latest attempt to threaten bodily autonomy and underscores a growing rise in misinformation on sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world.
“Mifepristone was approved by Health Canada in 2015 and this ruling does not affect its distribution in Canada,” says Farrah Khan, Executive Director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Canada’s national sexual and reproductive rights advocacy organization. “What it does, sadly, is incite misinformation that creates unnecessary barriers to abortion.”
The drug, which was originally introduced in 1988 in France is used in over 60 countries with a proven record of safety and efficacy.
“The decision is not about the safety of the medication, it’s a tactic by the anti-choice movement to limit people's access to abortion,” adds Khan.
The attack on reproductive rights will have a massive impact on the lives of real people on both sides of the border. It forces people who seek abortion care to travel to clinics, many of which are already overwhelmed by a surge in numbers following the defeat of Roe v. Wade.
“People who have the financial resources will continue to be able to access abortions, it’s those who don’t have the resources who will suffer the most,” says Khan. The individuals most impacted include people who face barriers of racism, financial limitations, and geographic constraints to accessing reproductive care.
In response, Action Canada is urgently asking the Federal Government to deliver on the committed $10 million to develop a Health Canada portal to provide accurate sexual health information and challenge disinformation circulating online.
Canadians can show their support by speaking up for abortion rights, donating to abortion advocacy groups, and talking to their government representatives about defending reproductive rights for all.
An attack on sexual rights anywhere is an attack on all of our rights.
613-241-4474 x 13200
Notes to Editors:
- ACTION CANADA FOR SEXUAL HEALTH & RIGHTS is a progressive, pro-choice charitable organization committed to advancing and upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and globally. For more information about Action Canada, please visit www.actioncanadashr.org
- To read Action Canada’s statement on the Texas Federal Court decision visit https://www.actioncanadashr.org/news/2023-04-11-action-canada-statement-us-mifepristone-abortion-medication-decision
- To learn about current trends in abortion access in Canada, read the brief by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and the National Abortion Federation Canada here: https://www.actioncanadashr.org/resources/reports-analysis/2022-12-14-trends-barriers-abortion-care