Sen. Kelly Defends Women’s Freedom to Make Own Decisions About Abortion in Brief to Supreme Court

Sen. Kelly and 252 lawmakers sign amicus brief to protect Arizona women’s access to medication abortion and preserve the FDA’s scientific integrity 

Last week, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly joined 252 members of the House and Senate in signing a brief in support of upholding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) longstanding authority to approve and regulate mifepristonean abortion and miscarriage management medication that has been used safely and effectively for over 20 years.  

In the brief, Kelly and other lawmakers wrote that if upheld, the Texas district judge’s court order to revoke FDA’s approval and regulation of mifepristone would jeopardize abortion access across the country, including in Arizona where health care providers are already preparing for the fallout from increased restrictions. The decision would also set a dangerous precedent by undermining FDA’s authority to independently determine the safety and efficacy of medications.   

“The district court appears to have second-guessed FDA’s scientific determinations with cherry-picked anecdotes and studies, and on that basis, imposed a remedy that could significantly upend the status quo,” wrote the lawmakers in their brief. “The consequences of the Fifth Circuit’s decision could extend far beyond mifepristone, for it undermines the science-based, expert-driven process that Congress designed for determining whether drugs are safe and effective.”  

On April 7th, a U.S. District Court judge in Texas issued a ruling to suspend the FDA’s approval of the drug. Subsequently, a federal appeals court ruled to maintain FDA approval but upend the agency’s ability to regulate its use, which would severely restrict the drug’s availability. The Department of Justice’s appeal is currently pending at the Supreme Court; in the meantime, mifepristone is still available without new restrictions. 

Kelly is a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would write almost 50 years of precedent for abortion protections under Roe v. Wade into law.   

The complete Supreme Court amicus brief is available here