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Day 785

1/ A federal judge in Texas heard arguments in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the FDA’s approval of the pills used in medication abortions. The abortion-inducing pill known as mifepristone is used in more than half of the abortions in the U.S. The lawsuit alleges that the FDA did not adequately evaluate mifepristone’s safety before it approved the drug in 2000, and argues that the FDA should not have made the medication accessible via telehealth during the pandemic. The FDA, which took more than four years to approve mifepristone, said it approved the drug after “a thorough and comprehensive review of the scientific evidence presented and determined that it was safe and effective for its indicated use.” U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by Trump and and is known for his conservative views on abortion and same-sex marriage, took the unusual step of intentionally delaying the public notice of today’s planned hearing, citing a “barrage of death threats and protesters” and his interest in avoiding a “circus-like atmosphere.” Kacsmaryk said he would issue his ruling as soon as possible, which is expected to be appealed and could eventually reach the Supreme Court. (Associated Press / NBC News / Washington Post / NPR / Wall Street Journal)

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