PRESS RELEASE: Doctors for America Files Supreme Court Amicus Brief to Protect Patients’ Access to Medication Abortion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Doctors for America
PO Box 53313
1921 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC  20009-9997

January 30, 2024

Doctors for America Files Supreme Court Amicus Brief to Protect Patients’ Access to Medication Abortion 

Washington, D.C.: Doctors for America, in partnership with the Reproductive Health Coalition (RHC), has filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the FDA’s approval of the use of mifepristone to end pregnancy through ten weeks gestation and protect mifepristone access via telehealth.  

The brief filed today in the case of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA reiterates and amplifies DFA’s strongly held belief that federal courts should not decide FDA drug approvals, and that this safe and effective medication should remain available to patients nationwide. Within the brief, DFA has outlined four specific arguments, including that:

  • Mifepristone’s safety and effectiveness are rooted in sound scientific and clinical evidence;
  • Mifepristone is a standard treatment option not only for abortion, but also for early pregnancy loss;
  • The ready accessibility of mifepristone is essential to protect patient autonomy; and
  • Continued judicial interference with FDA regulatory decision-making will undermine medical professionals’ trust in the judiciary.

As clinicians, we want to ensure our patients have access to the medication they need to manage their health. DFA and RHC members are also deeply concerned that this case fundamentally and dangerously threatens to undermine FDA’s drug approval authority. 

The brief filed today includes devastating first-hand physician testimony on how restrictions on access to mifepristone have impacted patients. Stories such as that of Dr. Cynthia Davis, an obstetrician-gynecologist in South Dakota whose patients have experienced difficulty accessing mifepristone to treat pregnancy loss. She shares how these incidents have resulted in women requiring blood transfusions and surgeries they otherwise would not have needed, with many avoiding future pregnancies for fear of similar recurring trauma. 

Anecdotes such as this are not anomalies. The case Dr. Davis describes is representative of numerous situations across the country in which physicians and patients are already being forced to make unimaginable health decisions due to unnecessary restrictions on an FDA-approved medication. 

DFA urges the Supreme Court to put patients over politics and affirm the FDA’s approval of the use of mifepristone to end pregnancy through ten weeks gestation.        

This amicus brief was filed by Columbia Law School’s Science, Health & Information Clinic (SHIC), which provides pro bono legal help to DFA. Columbia Law student attorneys Angela Kang, Xingni (Cindy) Chen, and Priscilla Kim led work on the brief, with support from student attorneys Aniruddh Bakre, Nora Franco, Ryeaan Chaudhary, Stephanie Lim, and Zelly Rosa, SHIC Director Christopher Morten, and attorney Thomas Leatherbury. 

To read the full brief filed in the case of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA click here.

For press inquiries for leaders of Doctors for America or with physician members willing to speak on this issue, please contact Alli Everton with Continuum Health Group ([email protected]).

###

About Doctors for America:

Doctors for America mobilizes doctors and medical students to be leaders in putting patients over politics to improve the health of our patients, communities, and nation. We are 27,000 physicians and medical students in all 50 states, representing all areas of specialization. Our impact areas focus on access to affordable care, community health and prevention, and health justice and equity. DFA focuses solely on what is best for our patients, not on the business side of medicine, and does not accept any funding from pharmaceutical or medical device companies; which uniquely positions DFA as the organization that puts patients over politics and patients over profits. Find out more at doctorsforamerica.org and on X at @drsforamerica.

About the Reproductive Health Coalition

The Reproductive Health Coalition (RHC) is a wide-range of health professional associations and allied organizations who advocate with a unified voice to protect access to essential reproductive care. The tenets of this work include: a patient’s right to dignity, autonomy, privacy, and the expectation of a trusted relationship with their clinician; protection of the clinician’s ethical obligation to provide care, including their access to comprehensive training; and a commitment to an evidence-based approach to policy and practice. Over 50 organizations participate in the RHC, collectively representing more than 150 million members. Click here for more information.

FDA