Attorney General Aaron Frey Joins Multistate Coalition to Defend and Protect Access to Medication Abortion

February 10, 2023


Contact: Danna Hayes




Attorney General Aaron Frey Joins Multistate Coalition to Defend and Protect Access to Medication Abortion


Coalition Argues that Revoking FDA Approval of Medication Abortion Would Endanger Lives Nationwide



AUGUSTA – Attorney General Aaron Frey today joined a multistate coalition to defend and protect safe access to medication abortion nationwide. In an amicus brief filed in Alliance of Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a case pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the coalition of 22 attorneys general ask the court to reject a challenge brought by anti-abortion groups seeking to revoke the FDA’s approval of the medication abortion drug, mifepristone. The brief warns that withdrawing federal approval for mifepristone would drastically reduce access to safe abortion care and miscarriage management for millions of people across the country, including in Maine. A ban on mifepristone would affect states where abortion is legal. The coalition is urging the court to reject this baseless attempt to undermine the FDA’s authority, upend decades of medical practice, and trample the rule of law.  


“This case is a concerted, years-long effort to chip away at access to reproductive care,” said Attorney General Frey. “This challenge, brought by anti-abortion activists, is an outrageous imposition on the freedom of Mainers to make medical decisions about their own bodies, their lives and their futures. I urge the Court to reject it.” 


In 2000, the FDA approved mifepristone as a single-dose oral medication used for early-term abortions. Since its approval, mifepristone has been safely used by approximately five million persons to terminate a pregnancy and is used in more than half of all abortions today. Decades of clinical research and studies have confirmed mifepristone’s safety and efficacy. 


If the district court orders the FDA to withdraw or suspend approval for mifepristone, the medication would be removed from the market nationwide. In their brief, the coalition argues that requiring the FDA to withdraw or suspend its approval of mifepristone, despite the overwhelming clinical data demonstrating its safety and efficacy, risks undermining the integrity of the FDA-approval process for other drugs.


The availability of the abortion pill has been particularly critical in providing access to abortion in low-income, underserved, and rural communities. The coalition also asserts that revoking the FDA approval of mifepristone would force millions to seek more invasive and expensive procedural abortion, which would disproportionately harm vulnerable, low-income, and underserved communities. Without access to mifepristone, demand for procedural abortions would significantly increase, leading to overburdened clinics, longer wait times, later and more risky procedures, and more complicated and costly logistics for many patients, especially those in low-income and rural communities. According to 2020 data, 89 percent of U.S. counties have no abortion clinics, and 38 percent of women of reproductive age reside in counties with no clinics. Moreover, lack of access to safe abortion care leads to worsened health outcomes and higher mortality, especially for Black women.


Today’s amicus brief was filed by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.