An ultra-conservative federal judge will decide the fate of the abortion pill in the United States
Women protest outside the courthouse in Amarillo, Texas to defend the right to abortion in the United States.
An ultra-conservative federal judge on Wednesday underlined the exceptional nature of an appeal filed by opponents of abortion, who are asking him to ban the abortion pill on the ;entire US territory.
In a closely watched hearing all the way to the White House, Magistrate Matthew Kacsmaryk, however, seemed receptive to some of their arguments, the few authorized reporters in the Amarillo, Texas court reported. .
At the end of the proceedings, the judge, who was a lawyer in a Christian organization before being appointed to this position by the former Republican President Donald Trump, has promised to deliver his decision as soon as possible, according to these reporters.
This is likely to have an impact as resounding as the judgment of the United States Supreme Court last June which dynamited the right to abortion at the federal level, which has allowed fifteen states to ban all abortions on their soil.
Ultraconservative Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk.
This time, it could affect the whole country, including states protecting the right to abortion, and affect the approximately 500,000 women who use the abortion pill each year.
La perspective arouses cold sweats among feminists. Brandishing posters Not your uterus, not your decision, activists from the association Women's March − including a woman dressed as a clown, symbol of the ambient circus − demonstrated on Wednesday in front of the court.
Among them, Lindsay London, a 41-year-old nurse, deplored a 100% ideological legal recourse, which has no scientific basis.
A few steps away, three women prayed on his knees in court against the abortion pill. There are many concerns about the safety of this product, Pastor Rita Cantu Hernandez told AFP.
This argument is at the heart of the lawsuit filed in November by a coalition of anti-abortion doctors and organizations against the United States Drug Administration (FDA).
A protester dressed as a clown, symbol of the ambient “circus”.
They accuse him of having authorized, in 2000, mifepristone (RU 486), one of the two pills used in the United States for medical termination of pregnancy. For them, she did not respect the procedures and approved a dangerous chemical product.
Without waiting for the examination of the merits of the case, they want justice federal government suspends the authorization of mifepristone throughout the territory.
Strategically, they filed their appeal in Amarillo, where Judge Kacsmaryk, who does not hide his opposition to abortion, is the only federal judge.
Wednesday, they #x27;have urged to act quickly. The harmful effects of this product know no bounds and we cannot waste time, pleaded one of their lawyers, Me Erik Baptist, according to a CNN journalist.
Underlining the exceptional nature of his request, the judge asked him if he could cite a similar file in which the federal justice would have been asked to withdraw the authorization of an FDA-approved drug several years previously. Me Baptist had to agree that his request was unprecedented.
Me Erik Baptist, on the right, leaving the courthouse in Amarillo, Texas. Mr. Baptist is an attorney for a coalition of anti-abortion doctors and organizations.
FDA advocates went on to point out the safety of mifepristone which, over 23 years, has been used by 5.6 million women, with extremely few complications (less than 1500).
The magistrate, however, seemed skeptical, pressing them with questions about it, as well as their process for evaluating the drug. His decision, whatever it is, will no doubt be subject to an appeal, which will be considered by the federal appeals court in New Orleans, also known for its conservatism. .
The case could again end up before the Supreme Court of the United States which, since its reshuffle by Donald Trump, has six out of nine conservative judges.
Even if the court ultimately suspended the FDA's authorization, it would probably take several months before its decision would apply. According to health law experts, the drug regulator must follow a strict procedure before withdrawing the authorization of a product.
Women and doctors could also fall back on a second pill, misoprostol, the use of which is combined today with mifepristone for greater effectiveness and less pain.
Either way, it will be chaotic, Elisa Wells, founder of the Plan C abortion pill information network, told AFP.