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Catholics for Choice Responds to Federal Appeals Court Decision on Mifepristone

August 16, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Contact: John Becker, Press Secretary
Phone: 202-203-0931

Catholics for Choice Responds to Federal Appeals Court Decision on Mifepristone

— Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, issued the following statement from President Jamie L. Manson, M.Div., on today’s decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to partially uphold a lower court ruling rolling back the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s regulation of the safe and popular abortion pill mifepristone:

“Today’s decision by the Fifth Circuit to partially reaffirm Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling attempting to yank mifepristone off the shelves is an outrageous attack on the reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy of women and pregnant people in the United States. A mountain of scientific evidence demonstrates that mifepristone — which, when taken in combination with misoprostol, accounts for most of the abortions in the United States — is a safe and highly effective method of terminating an early pregnancy. Ignoring the facts and the expert scientific judgment of the country’s top doctors is judicial activism of the highest order.

“This decision is neither final nor currently in effect at all — we anticipate it will go all the way to the Supreme Court, and fortunately, mifepristone will remain available at least through the justices’ resolution of the case. However, if mifepristone is successfully banned or restricted at the end of the process, those suffering miscarriages will be unable to properly treat their medical needs. The medication most used in early-stage abortion will be much more difficult to obtain. The FDA’s ability to make medically sound regulatory and approval decisions about prescription drugs like mifepristone will no longer be guaranteed. And, as is always the case, those who already suffer so much injustice — especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, LGBTQIA+ people, immigrants, and people working to make ends meet — will be forced to continue their pregnancies against their wills.

“As Catholics, we are dismayed, disheartened, and disgusted to see this betrayal of our fundamental values, particularly respect for human dignity and affirmation that healthcare is a human right. We call on the justices of the Supreme Court, especially those who so proudly proclaim their Catholic faith, to listen to the science, overrule the Fifth Circuit’s unjust decision, and preserve full access to this safe, widely used, and effective drug that plays such a consequential role in so many Americans’ lives.”

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to a person’s well-being and respect, and affirm the capacity of all people to make moral decisions about their lives.