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Abortion pill remains available in Connecticut after competing rulings

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, saying Mifepristone “in Connecticut, legal, safe, effective and available; period full stop,” holds a printout of a decision from a Texas federal court aiming to restrict access to the drug. Tong called the decision “aggressive,” “idealogical,” and “nonsensical.”
Mark Mirko
Connecticut Public
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said Monday that the abortion pill mifepristone in Connecticut is “legal, safe, effective and available — period, full stop.” Tong, holding a printout of a decision from a Texas federal court aiming to restrict access to the drug, called the ruling “aggressive,” “ideological” and “nonsensical.”

Connecticut officials said the abortion pill mifepristone will continue to be available in the state despite a federal judge's order in Texas overturning the FDA's approval of the drug.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, ordered a hold on federal approval of mifepristone, the most commonly used method of abortion in the U.S., in a decision last week that overruled decades of scientific approval.

The Justice Department quickly appealed the ruling, calling the decision “extraordinary and unprecedented.”

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said Monday he is confident the ruling will be overturned.

"It’s hard to overstate how deeply flawed this decision is," Tong said at a news conference with Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and other legislators. “Dobbs was flawed, but this is borderline nonsensical in its analysis of the law and the regulatory process.”

On the same day last week the Texas judge sought to invalidate mifepristone, a federal judge in Washington state upheld the FDA's two decade-old approval of the drug. Tong’s office was one of the plaintiffs in the Washington state case.

The extraordinary timing of the competing orders revealed the high stakes surrounding the drug nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and curtailed access to abortion across the country.

“The ruling from Texas could severely undermine access to abortion in Connecticut and Rhode Island,” Amanda Skinner, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England,said in a statement. "While much remains unclear on the effects of these two rulings, for now, approval of mifepristone remains protected.”

People inside the Connecticut’s State Office Building listen to a press conference held Monday, April 10, 2024, in response to a federal court ruling last week aiming to restrict nationwide access to mifepristone led by Attorney General William Tong.
Mark Mirko
Connecticut Public
People inside the Connecticut State Office Building listen during a news conference led by state Attorney General William Tong on Monday, April 10, 2023, in response to a federal court ruling aiming to restrict nationwide access to the abortion medication mifepristone.

This story has been updated. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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