Appeals Court Seems Skeptical of FDA’s Approval and Regulation of Abortion Pill

A federal appeals court on Wednesday appeared prepared to rule that the availability of a commonly used abortion pill should be curtailed, showing skepticism of the decisions that the Food and Drug Administration has made about the drug.

At issue is whether to uphold a preliminary ruling from a federal judge in Texas, who declared in April that the F.D.A.’s 23-year-old approval of the pill, mifepristone, was invalid.

From the outset of the two-hour hearing in New Orleans, questions and comments from three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reflected criticism of the F.D.A. and a lack of familiarity with medication abortion, particularly how it is prescribed.

Although the case is still in its early stages and any decision is likely to be appealed, it could ultimately have profound implications.

If the initial judge’s ruling is upheld, access to medication abortion would be upended…

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