HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut leaders are slamming Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk for his April 7 ruling over mifepristone, the most widely used abortion medication in the U.S.
Kacsmaryk suspended the FDA’s approval of the drug effective April 14, but the impact is not clear. A Washington state judge ruled it should remain available in at least 17 states, including Connecticut.
Gov. Ned Lamont and Attorney General William Tong are among Connecticut leaders calling the Texas ruling a “war on patients” and an “attack on reproductive rights.”
“What the heck is going on? We just went through this with the Dobbs decision,” Lamont said at a Monday news conference in Hartford. “We thought that was 50 years of settled law, and all of a sudden, the courts I thought were there to protect our freedoms, are coming in and taking away basic fundamental freedoms.”
The case could go before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tong said he is not backing down from the fight.
“Mifepristone and medication abortion is, in Connecticut, legal, safe, effective, and available. Period. Full stop,” Tong said.
Leaders say more than 5 million people in the U.S. have used the abortion drug since its FDA approval in 2000, and it is proven to be 99%effective.
“There is no doubt that it’s safe! It’s been safe for decades,” Tong said. “It’s safer than Tylenol.”
Health experts said medication abortion accounts for more than half of abortions today. The rate is even higher in Connecticut.
“All people who have abortions should be able to access the full spectrum of care options so they can choose the method of abortion that works best for their circumstances, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make,” said Liz Gustafson, state director of Pro-Choice Connecticut.
Dr. Manisha Juthani, Connecticut’s public health commissioner, said patients still have access to mifepristone in its current form for now.
“If you’re a patient that needs this type of care, seek it out. Go to our friends and providers at Planned Parenthood, call your doctor,” Juthani said.
Leaders said if the decision is upheld, providers can still prescribe an alternative drug, but it’s less effective with more side effects.
Tong said he’s talking to major pharmacies, like CVS and Walgreens, to advise them of their rights to sell the drug in Connecticut.