Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey files court brief on FDA’s regulation of abortion pills

(The Center Square) – After warning national pharmacies not to mail abortion-inducing pills earlier this month, Missouri Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed an amicus brief in a court case regarding the matter.

The case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine vs. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is an attempt to stop “a regime of abortion by mail,” according to Bailey’s 13-page document. In December, the Department of Justice stated the U.S. Postal Service wouldn’t be violating the law by allowing companies to mail abortion-inducing pills to states with abortion restrictions.

Earlier this month, Bailey and 19 other Republican attorneys general wrote a letter to CVS and Walgreens warning that mailing abortion-inducing pills is illegal and unsafe.

Bailey’s document requesting an injunction is one of 15 amicus briefs sent in favor of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit legal group representing the plaintiffs.

The brief filed by Bailey states Missouri has a strong interest because the FDA’s decision to disregard federal regulations and “create a regime of abortion by mail imposes harms that necessarily spill over into Missouri, impeding the operation of state law and drastically increasing the risks faced by Missouri women.”

The 22 states signing onto a 20-page brief supporting the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

“Rather than respect the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the democratic process, the Biden Administration has attacked and worked to undermine the considered judgments of the elected representatives of States like amici,” the multistate brief states. “The Administration’s actions on abortion drugs typify that effort. The day Dobbs was decided, President Biden directed his Administration to ensure that abortion drugs are ‘as widely accessible as possible,’ including ‘through telehealth and sent by mail.'”

In late January, FDA attorneys stated the request for a preliminary injunction should be denied.

“In this unprecedented action, Plaintiffs ask this Court to upend that longstanding scientific determination based on speculative allegations of harm offered in support of claims and arguments that are untimely, unexhausted, and without merit,” the defendants stated. 

Bailey’s brief says Missouri is in agreement with the brief filed by the 22 states, and he writes a separate document to provide information from the state’s past litigation. The brief contains approximately 100 pages of additional testimony by abortion providers and other court documents between 2016 and 2019 stating the effects of chemical abortion drugs on women.

“These facts highlight the extraordinary harms the FDA policy will impose on women across the country,” Bailey’s brief argues. “Before 2022, Missouri was one of the only states to successfully defend laws requiring abortionists to undertake safety measures like maintaining admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and maintaining referral agreements with other physicians. During that litigation, Missouri discovered distressing facts that reveal how distributors of abortion drugs have systematically imposed heightened risks on women.”

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