Last month's abortion pill ruling was a 'Political Stunt'

Planned Parenthood strongly believes the electorate will ultimately decide the issue
by Mark Richardson
Illinois News Connection
Illinois - Women's health groups in Illinois and across the country are angered by a pair of federal court rulings last month on the abortion drug mifepristone.

A Texas judge's ruling rolled back the federal Food and Drug Administration's approval, effectively banning the drug.

The same day, a Washington State judge ruled the FDA must keep medication abortion drugs available in over a dozen Democratic-led states, including Illinois.

Everything is currently on hold while an appeals court sorts it out. Cristina Villarreal, chief of external affairs at Planned Parenthood of Illinois, said the Texas ruling was the result of "judge shopping" by anti-abortion groups.

"With the Texas case," said Villarreal, "it's kind of ridiculous that a judge in Texas can make decisions for people who can become pregnant in Illinois, where we have clearly said we support the right to choose."

Mifepristone was approved in 2000 by the FDA. The drug has been used by over 5 million patients.

However, in his ruling, Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk suggests the FDA had not properly tested the drug and has ordered it off the market.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, essentially giving the power to states to regulate abortion access.

Since then, most "red" states have put restrictions on the procedure, while others have made abortions generally available.

Villarreal said Planned Parenthood strongly believes the electorate will ultimately decide the issue.

"In the ballot box, we've seen that voters are - again and again - trying to protect the right to choose," said Villarreal. "We know that the American public supports access to abortion care."

In the meantime, Villarreal said Planned Parenthood of Illinois will continue to offer all abortion-care options available.

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