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Colorado attorney general joins amicus brief urging SCOTUS to overturn medication abortion restrictions

Posted at 9:54 PM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-01 01:04:30-05

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and 23 other attorneys general filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn medication abortion restrictions.

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled to reinstate certain restrictions on mifepristone, the commonly used abortion pill. Mifepristone, when taken with misoprostol, can terminate an early pregnancy.

Although abortion is legal in Colorado, Weiser told Denver7 that restrictions on mifepristone would make it almost impossible to receive a medication abortion in the state.

"When someone asks for abortion care, the ability to use medication abortion is up to the FDA," said Weiser. "If the FDA approval of mifepristone gets limited by the Supreme Court or the Fifth Circuit, that affects Coloradans. That affects providers here in Colorado. That's why we're fighting so hard in this case."

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to an abortion, Weiser said Colorado experienced an increase in people traveling to the state to terminate pregnancies. He said the demand on the state's reproductive healthcare system will only increase if SCOTUS decides to impose nationwide restrictions on mifepristone.

"If you were to take mifepristone off the market — the only FDA medication abortion that is available — you're going to make those lengthy waits even longer," said Weiser.

The amicus brief states in part, "The ruling could drive many individuals to undergo unwanted procedural abortions; push abortion procedures to later in pregnancy; sharply increase risks, costs, and delays; and deprive many individuals of access to abortion care altogether. Further, the decision below would lead to regulatory chaos, requiring confusing and medically inaccurate labeling and destabilizing the established drug approval process."

Weiser joined attorneys general from New York, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. The District of Columbia also joined the amicus brief.

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for March 26.

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