Abortion Pill Lawsuit Continues; Conclusion May Draw From 1873

Lucia Hogan, Student Writer

Picture of Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, The federal Judge presiding of the case
Picture of Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, The federal Judge presiding of the case

Federal District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk listen to oral arguments from the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine on Wednesday, March 15.

As it was partially covered here, the abortion pill mifepristone has come under scrutiny from anti-abortion advocates and some claim that its approval 20 years ago was hasty. The more exact phrasing being that the side-effects were not fully explored and that it would cause irreparable harm to women. The FDA defended its approval of the the drug on the basis that it is safe and that by revoking the approval patients and businesses that rely on mifepristone could be put into harms way.

The transcript of the trial is provided here.

Kacsmaryk is a notorious conservative judge that was appointed by Donald Trump. He well-known for reinstating Trump era polices in regards to asylum’s seekers, going after Title X, and for giving out the stance that health care providers can discriminate against LGBTQ people in the state of Texas despite it going against Bostock v. Clayton County decision ruled by the Supreme Court back in 2020.

The reason that the Comstock Act is being brought up is to combat the FDA’s 2021 approval to have patients order mifepristone and have it delivered by mail, which is illegal by this 1873 decision. The problem that comes into play is that this will be the first time in decades that it would actually be enforced. The Act was made obsolete with Roe v. Wade, but after it was overruled back July 2022, anti abortion advocates have been trying to use it enforce abortion bans. The Act itself states that it is illegal to send anything obscene through which included contraceptives.

The ability to have contraceptive pills to be shipped to a person’s home could be used to circumvent the abortion bans in most states, which goes against the goal for the anti-abortion crowd.

Kacsmaryk is more than likely going to side with the group who filed the lawsuit in the first place due to his highly conservative views.