Lankford Files Bicameral Amicus Brief to Challenge FDA Allowing Chemical Abortion by Mail

Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) along with and Representative August Pfluger (R-TX) led 9 Senators and 57 Members of Congress in filing an amicus curiae brief to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. US Food & Drug Administration. The brief urges the Court to keep the Northern District of Texas’s stay of the FDA approval of the abortion drug mifepristone in place, protecting the health and safety of pregnant women and their unborn children. The brief makes the same arguments made in an amicus brief the lawmakers filed in February at the District Court.

In addition to Lankford and Hyde-Smith, the brief filed late Tuesday, April 11, was signed by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN) Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), James Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).

“President Biden is obsessed with increasing abortion on demand, no matter what it takes,” said Lankford. “The FDA’s approval of dangerous DIY abortions was not only a violation of the FDA’s drug approval process but was breaking federal law. I’m proud to join my colleagues in urging the Fifth Circuit to uphold this decision that puts the value of life over politics.”  

The amicus brief makes three primary arguments that demonstrate how the FDA exceeded its authority by subverting the law and public policy with its approval and deregulation of harmful chemical abortion drugs. The brief contends the FDA endangered the health of women and girls when it:

  • Failed to adhere to the drug approval process in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) – “By subverting the FFDCA’s patent safeguards, the FDA is playing a dangerous game with the health and safety of women and girls, which is why the FDA’s approval and deregulation of chemical abortion pills should be preliminarily enjoined.”
  • Unlawfully waived the pediatric study requirement under the Pediatric Research Equity Act – “Contrary to the FDA’s assertion, adolescent patients seeking chemical abortions face unique challenges that place them in dissimilar conditions to adult women, and waiving the pediatric rule jeopardizes the health and safety of adolescent patients…  Notably, the FDA authorized chemical abortion drugs without knowing the drugs’ impact on adolescent development, especially its effect on girls’ immune systems.”
  • Violated federal law by permitting mail-order chemical abortion pills – “Federal law bars the use of the United States Postal Service and private carriers from mailing abortion-inducing drugs, including the chemical abortion regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol…  By contravening federal law to allow telemedicine and mail order chemical abortion pills, the FDA is endangering women’s health and safety.”

In addition to Pfluger, the brief was also signed by U.S. Representatives Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), John Moolenaar (MI-02), Jake Ellzey (TX-06), Ron Estes (KS-04), Bob Good (VA-05), Dan Webster (FL-11), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Michael Cloud (TX-27), Michael Guest (MS-03), Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Lauren Boebert (CO-03), Claudia Tenney (NY-24), Randy Weber (TX-14), Keith Self (TX-03), Kevin Hern (OK-01), Diana Harshbarger (TN-01), Mike Johnson (LA-04), Aaron Bean (FL-04), Trent Kelly (MS-01), Andy Ogles (TN-05, Jim Banks (IN-03), Andrew Clyde (GA-09), Mike Bost (IL-12), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Mike Ezell (MS-04), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Alex Mooney (WV-02), Mark Alford (MO-04), William Timmons (SC-04), Ben Cline (VA-06), Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Lisa McClain (MI-09), Mary Miller (IL-05), Roger Williams (TX-25), Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Tim Walberg (MI-05), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Jerry Carl (AL-01), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Mike Kelly (PA-16), Andy Harris (MD-01), Warren Davidson (OH-08), David Rouzer (NC-07), Clay Higgins (LA-03), Russell Fry (SC-07), G. Murphy (NC-03), Nathaniel Moran (TX-01), Joe Wilson (SC-02), Michael Burgess (TX-26), Max Miller (OH-07), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Pete Sessions (TX-17), and Paul Gosar (AZ-09). 

SBA Pro-Life America, Catholic Vote, Students for Life Action, Family Policy Alliance, US Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities support the lawmakers’ amicus brief.