On Friday, April 7th, US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued a ruling to reverse the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, one of two vital medications used for medical abortion, which has been safely used by millions of people since it was first approved 23 years ago. Make no mistake – this unprecedented decision is a threat to public health and healthcare quality, posing serious and life-threatening consequences for millions of people beyond Texas into states like New York that have democratically codified the right to abortion into state laws.
We at Public Health Solutions (PHS) strongly condemn this decision and are outraged by the ongoing attack on abortion access and reproductive care throughout the country. When the Trump administration instituted a gag rule to prevent Federal Title X Family Planning program recipients like PHS from even discussing abortion options with clients, we turned away this funding that would require us to offer unethical, inadequate care. This latest attack on abortion access ignores decades of scientific evidence and sets a dangerous precedent for ideological interference in the practice of science-based medicine in the future.
An injunction on the use of mifepristone that is set to take effect on Friday, April 14th not only impacts millions across the country but also disproportionately affects our most underserved populations – Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those who are uninsured, undocumented, and under-resourced – and underscores the growing politicization of the judiciary and a dangerous shift towards the politicization of medicine. Shortly after the Kacsmaryk decision, a federal judge in Washington issued a dueling injunction blocking the FDA from making any changes to the status of mifepristone in 17 states and the District of Columbia. We recognize the FDA cannot comply with both decisions and anticipate the Supreme Court will need to weigh in to make a final determination.
PHS stands in full support of the Department of Justice’s appeal against the Texas ruling and for now, mifepristone remains accessible. “In the event mifepristone comes off the market, PHS is prepared to adjust our clinical protocol to continue providing medication abortion and addressing our patients’ sexual and reproductive health needs. However, no one should have their options for health care and abortion care determined by political decisions. We will not remain silent in the face of a political decision that harms and attempts to control our communities,” said Dr. April Lockley, PHS’ Medical Director.
By leaning into our wide range of services such as contraceptive counseling, STI testing, pregnancy testing, and health referrals, PHS will do everything we can to ensure that our patients can receive the care they need when they need it. We are committed to providing patient-centered quality Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services and have provided SRH care in low-income communities for over fifty years. We have been a grantee of the Federal Title X Family Planning program for nearly 40 years and have supported the capacity of other SRH clinical providers for nearly a decade. We hope that by maintaining our commitment to all aspects of sexual and reproductive healthcare, we can still serve as a vital support system for our patients.
Ultimately, we will continue to support evidence-based healthcare and fight for our patients’ right to choose, as well as provide all the resources they need to make the best decisions for their health. We remain committed to providing the full range of sexual health services that our communities need in a manner that uplifts reproductive autonomy and reproductive justice. Abortion is healthcare and healthcare is a right for all. We’ve fought obstacles to abortion care before, and we do not plan on backing down any time soon.