Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

January 30, 2024

HARTFORD – Today, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, and members of the Connecticut Senate Democratic caucus signed on to an amicus brief in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, joining more than 600 state legislators from across the country to stand in defense of abortion rights. This amicus brief opposes a Fifth Circuit holding from last year that overruled the FDA’s actions modifying conditions where the drug mifepristone can be prescribed for abortion.

These actions come after, in 2023, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that access to mifepristone, which is often used as an abortion pill, must be restricted. The pill was banned from being used in telemedicine prescriptions and mail shipments. While the ban has not yet gone into place, it is dependent on the Supreme Court’s review.

Mifepristone’s ban was brought about by a lawsuit by anti-abortion groups and anti-abortion doctors, and their action and the subsequent ruling bars access to a drug that has been available for use for more than 20 years and has safely been used by millions. In a January 2024 brief to the Supreme Court, the Biden administration argued that as these plaintiffs do not prescribe the drug, they shouldn’t have legal standing to make such a challenge, adding that if the decision stands it would have “disruptive consequences” for women and the FDA.

This comes as mifepristone is widely acknowledged and accepted as an abortion drug. As of 2020, medication abortion using mifepristone accounted for more than half of all abortions in the United States, according to the Guttmacher Institute, displaying the significance and widespread nature of the drug’s use nationwide. Research shows that medication abortion is effective at ending early pregnancies with very low rates of serious complications.

Since the Supreme Court in 2022 overturned Roe v Wade, a ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and stood as effective policy for about a half-century, at least 14 states have banned abortion outright with more placing prohibitions on it after certain lengths of pregnancy. Many states did so with very limited exceptions to policies, leading to high-profile instances including a nine-year-old girl who was a victim of rape in Ohio being forced to travel to Indiana to receive care and a woman who was forced to travel outside of Texas to deliver a baby with no chance of survival at birth.

In fact, many of these policies are likely harming women’s health and autonomy. A recent study found that of the 14 states outright banning abortion, as many as 64,565 women who experienced sexual assault likely became pregnant, with an estimated 26,313 occurring solely in the state of Texas. While these figures are likely overestimated, they underscore the reality these abortion bans have forced upon victims in these states.

The complete amicus brief can be found here.

Contact: Kevin Coughlin | 203-710-0193 |
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