Can states outright ban abortion pills? It’s unclear.

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Good morning and happy Friday ☀️ The top of today’s newsletter is written with our colleagues Laurie McKinley. Send news, tips or otherwise to [email protected]

Today’s edition: Oklahoma lawmakers passed the strictest abortion ban in the nation. Get an inside look at what administration officials’ growing number of positive cases have to say about who Biden is in contact with. But first…

Abortion pills have been FDA-approved for years – so banning them could be tricky for states

Republican-led states are moving quickly to limit the use of medical abortion.

Efforts to date have largely focused on regulations around pills, such as bans on transporting or prescribing them.But can states ban the actual abortion pill itself, even if Food and Drug Administration Approved? This issue could be the next frontier in the abortion war.

The short answer boils down to: The issue has not yet been resolved and a lawsuit may be filed in court. Some argue that it may be difficult for states to ban federally-approved drugs, despite the disagreement of anti-abortion advocates.

This is our FDA reporter Laurie McKinley I learned after raising this question with multiple experts and advocates over the past week.

Back up, what is an abortion pill?

In 2000, the FDA approved mifepristone for medical abortion, which is used with a second pill, misoprostol, Inducing is essentially a miscarriage. The FDA says the drugs are safe and effective to use during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and implements a series of Security Protocol around its use.About 20 years later, medical abortion More than half All abortions in the United States.

Are states banning medical abortion?

Some states have introduced bills that focus on banning abortion pills, but they haven’t gotten much traction. Elizabeth Nash, Interim Deputy Director Guttmacher Institute, A research group that supports abortion rights. (A recent exception is Oklahoma, whose Republican governor is poised to sign legislation to ban abortions — including medical abortions — from the moment of “fertilization.”)

Instead, states are banning the practice of medicine around pills. E.g: at least 19 states The use of telemedicine for medical abortions is prohibited, and some states have other restrictions, such as a ban on mailing pills.

However, if Roe v Wade After being overturned, some states may try to ban actual drug use. And states already have pregnancy restrictions and other abortion bans on books if and if roe These could include restrictions on pills, experts say.

Can states ban FDA-approved drugs?

There is no clear precedent here.

Some states may argue that they can ban medical abortion because states have the power to regulate medical practice. On the other hand, the FDA is the recognized authority on medical products, such as abortion pills. But the line between medical practice and medical product is not always clear.

If a state confronts the federal government over an FDA-approved drug… “We don’t know how the court will rule. It’s an open question,” Patty Zettler, Associate Professor of Law Ohio State University and former deputy general counsel FDA Office of the General Counsel.

Some experts see a strong argument that FDA approval of a drug takes precedence over state action — and argue that state injunctions won’t make it through federal court.

  • The fact that the FDA has a list of safety requirements governing drug use — a rule many advocates believe is not needed — actually reinforces the pre-emptive argument, says Greer Downley, Assistant Professor of Law University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
  • That’s because it shows that the FDA has done quite a bit of work She argues that it’s about measuring how and when the drug can be used safely.

But anti-abortion advocates argue that state law will still be allowed.

  • The drugs present medical risks and should have more federal oversight, so states have “compelling interest” in regulating them — and could impose bans, says Clark Forsyth, this Senior Legal Advisor Americans are united for life, A group focused on writing and promoting anti-abortion legislation.

What does the court have to say?

There aren’t many lawsuits here, but one case has come up time and time again in conversations with experts.

This is the case of Zohydro in Massachusetts in 2014. The state is trying to ban the use of a new FDA-approved opioid called Zohydro. But when the ban was challenged by the manufacturer, a federal district judge rejected the state’s arguments, saying the FDA — whose job is to determine whether a drug is safe and effective — preempted the state’s restrictions.

Massachusetts decided not to appeal the decision, so the ruling did not affect other courts or set precedent.

There is also a pending case in Mississippi, although there is no blanket ban on the pills. GenBioProManufactures a generic version of the abortion pill, suing the state for additional requirements imposed on the pill, such as counseling appointments and 24-hour waiting periods.this lawsuit has been filed October 2020, still waiting.

More legal action expected if Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wadeprotection from decades ago. “I think we’re very much in a grey area,” said Laurie Sobel deputy director of Kaiser Family Foundation.

Oklahoma lawmakers pass nation’s toughest abortion ban

oklahoma legislator pass legislation Abortion is banned from the moment of “fertilization,” which would ban nearly all abortions in the state. If signed by the government. Kevin Stitt (R), effective immediately, is the strictest procedural injunction in the country, our colleagues Amy B. Wang, Felicia Somez and Caroline Kitchener Report.

Oklahoma’s ban employs an enforcement mechanism similar to the one signed into law in Texas last year. The law relies on ordinary citizens to bring lawsuits against those who perform or seek abortions — in order to evade legal challenges.

  • The bill provides exceptions for medical emergencies and pregnancy due to rape, Sexual assault or incest reported to law enforcement. It explicitly allows the use of the Plan B pill, a widely used form of emergency contraception, but prohibits the use of the pill for medical abortion.

within a few hours, family planning and Center for Reproductive Rights said they plan to challenge The latest injunction in court.

Just two weeks ago, Stitt approved a prohibit Abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, rape or incest without exception.Earlier this year, he sign Another measure, which will make carrying out the procedure an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison, is due to take effect this summer.

Oklahoma Rep. Wendy Stillman (right), sponsor of the newly passed bill:

Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson:

CDC recommends Pfizer boosters for children under 5

After a meeting with an external advisor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admired Children ages 5 to 11 to get third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to boost their immunity as infections rise across U.S., Post’s Katie Shepherd Report.

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Valensky Green light recommendation Yesterday evening, parents of children in age groups who have not yet been vaccinated were encouraged to get their first shot as soon as possible.As of now, less than 30% of children aged 5 to 11 have fully Their initial two-shot series, each post Coronavirus Tracker.

The agency also stepped up its recommendations People over 50 should receive a second booster shot – in most cases a fourth – considered the latest coronavirus vaccination.

Nathan T. Chomilo, Pediatrician:

Getting more complicated with more coronavirus funding

in solidarity Congressional Hispanic Caucusmembers of the leadership team Congressional Progressive Caucus say they will against any attempt to prevent the White House from easing Trump-era pandemic restrictions at the U.S. border. That poses a challenge to pass billions of dollars in pandemic relief.

Key Background: Democrats have been pressing for approval of new pandemic aid to replenish the nation’s stockpile of vaccines, treatments and testing, but funding deals have been lift Republican leadership seeks a vote on Boundary Clause 42 in the Senate as a precondition.

  • Politico reports that some Senate Democrats signaled They may be willing to give Republicans a vote on border policy if it can drive coronavirus funding.but if enough Congressional Progressive Caucus Members oppose doing so, and House Democratic leadership will have to rely on Republican lawmakers to pass more dollars to fight covid-19.

Simultaneously… in a 52 votes to 43, Senate failed to advance yesterday $48 billion Pandemic aid for restaurants and other businesses yesterday.

Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Illinois), Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China:

The number of coronavirus cases inside the White House keeps rising, President Biden’s inner ring Have indirect exposure Few people, including senior advisors and family members, seem to spend more than 15 minutes with him, our colleagues Anne Lynskey wrote.

Biden did not have ‘close contact’ with senior official who tested positive for coronavirus Definition of CDCwhich means he was no less than 6 feet away from an infected person for more than 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.

  • Keeping the 79-year-old president healthy amid ongoing public health crisis It’s a top priority for the White House. In addition to his health and well-being, Biden could also pay a political price for contracting the disease he has promised to defeat.
  • Before meeting with Biden, Visitors must all show negative coronavirus tests. As for White House staff, aides must wear masks and practice social distancing from the president.

But for Joe Biden, a politician known for his fondness for shaking hands and hugs with those around him, regular headlines about people around him but not physically close are a reminder of how isolated it can be to be president of the United States — not even a global leader Popularity.

Infant formula plants could open within a week, FDA commissioner says (Laura Reiley | The Washington Post)

Why is Louisiana’s maternal mortality rate so high (Sarah Owermohle | Politico)

This rural Red Southern county is a vaccine success story. no longer. (Brett Kelman l Kaiser Health News)

thanks for reading! See you on Monday.

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