Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA: Bigger Than Roe


Protesters outside the US Supreme Court in 2022 at an abortion pills educational booth. Credit to Jose Luis Magana, AP.

Lukas Mishra, Club Writer

“After two decades of engaging the FDA to no avail, plaintiffs now ask this court to do what the FDA was and is legally required to do: protect women and girls by holding unlawful, setting aside, and vacating the FDA’s actions to approve chemical abortion drugs and eviscerate crucial safeguards for those who undergo this dangerous drug regimen.”

That’s what the complaint for the case against the abortion pill, Mifeprex, also known as mifepristone, reads as. This complaint is levied against the FDA by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine for its approval of mifepristone in order to “protect women and girls.” The word choice and general diction of the complaint already lends itself to creating a bias — and an unneeded one at that. The judge of this case, Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, is conservative. He was appointed by Donald Trump and has shown a history of opposing liberal policies and beliefs with his rulings. It’s entirely possible that this lawsuit was specifically filed in an area where the plaintiffs — the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine — were guaranteed to get a judge sympathetic to their cause: after all, Kacsmaryk was a part of the First Liberty Institute, a conservative Christian legal advocacy group and the only judge in the area that this case was filed in.

Mifepristone is a drug that was approved 23 years ago by the FDA for, according to the FDA, “medical termination of pregnancy through seven weeks,” which was extended to 10 weeks in 2016. Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, limiting access to widespread abortions, being able to safely receive abortions and maintain some bodily autonomy has been a large concern for anyone with a uterus — not just women, but transgender people as well.

“I think that abortions are something that many people need to survive, especially if they’ve been sexually assaulted or have health complications,” Maya/Blue Levato says. They are an agender junior and officer in the ERHS Gender-Sexuality Alliance that uses all pronouns. “As someone who still has the capability to become pregnant, I feel that my opinion should be listened to and heard on the matter but that those without the capability should be heard but an emphasis should be on those who it directly affects.”

In reference to the current state of female reproductive rights, Levato said, “It’s not good. It’s [abortion bans] not gonna save lives like people want it to, it’s just gonna cause more people to die from health complications or trying to get abortions unsafely – and it needs to be fixed.”

Protesters gathered at Tuscon, Arizona during a pro-choice rally (left) and demonstrators gathered in Austin, Texas to protest the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade (right). Credits to Sandy Huffaker, Getty Images (left) and Eric Gray, AP Photo (right). Collage created by Lukas Mishra.

Products like Mifeprex don’t just give people access to medical abortions, but it can also help people deal with periods. It can help balance hormones for abnormal periods or help make periods less painful — and they can be quite painful: as painful as heart attacks.

Mifeprex has been proven to be safe: in the instances of death or harm, the FDA has been unable to find a correlation between mifepristone and these cases. Yet the complaint still claims that this case strives to “protect women and girls” — when this has been proven, not a month earlier, to not be the case.

Texas residents’ access to abortion, the same state where this case is taking place, has caused problems for numerous women. Recently, five women sued the state over their abortion laws. They were all denied abortions despite their medical crisis — the exception to the abortion ban in Texas. Four of these women left the state, but one stayed. She fell ill, developing sepsis, before her doctors agreed that she was sick enough to get an abortion without violating the ban. This has caused lasting impacts on her health — and fertility. Doctors are scared to violate abortion laws unless in extreme cases because the law is vague, yet the punishments are exceedingly egregious.

When asked if she felt safe, Sarah Lee, a junior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, simply said, “Nah.” She elaborated on the lack of representation: “Do you know how many women are in the government? Not a lot.”

Demonstrators gathered in Amarillo, Texas, to protest the lawsuit to ban mifepristone. Credit to Justin Rex, AP File.

Ultimately, this lawsuit isn’t about protecting women and girls: it’s about taking away women’s agency, autonomy, and power — it’s about silencing and oppressing them. It is about maintaining the status quo and keeping privilege and power. The only people that benefit from this are those already privileged: the oppressors.

Women can be pro-life and/or anti-abortion, but that’s their choice. They lose nothing from abortions being legal, but they also gain nothing — women who are pro-choice do because they lose the choice to not have a pregnancy or kids. They have no right to stop people from deciding what they decide to do with their bodies — especially with pregnancies, which are painful and can even be dangerous. Some people don’t want kids, and some do: children are major investments and change people’s lives. It’s not a decision to be made lightly. When that choice is taken away from people, major control over their lives is taken away. The aim of taking away bodily autonomy is to take away any sort of privilege and power that women may have: Roe v. Wade served as a stark reminder that whatever social progress is made can easily be undone. These cases are ways for oppressors to remind women that they are not in any position of privilege or power.

Depending on the result of this case, this could not only reduce the FDA’s power, leading to more skepticism regarding the FDA’s credentials, but ban medication abortions nationwide, or at the very least, in Texas. This situation will continue to unfold over the course of these next few weeks, or even months: things like this do not go away easily or quickly. If this case gets brought to the Supreme Court, more people could lose their agency — they could lose “the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives, bodies, and freedom.”

That final quote is from, a website for the organization NARAL. Their website is a great place to find more information about abortions — and reproductive rights in general — and how to take action.

And we need to take action: the more we let oppressors gain, the more they feel comfortable taking. They will take, and take, and take, until there’s nothing left to take: until they are the only ones with privilege and power. You will be left to rot, and they will not care — why would they? You’re the one without a voice, not them. Unless we force them to listen, they will not hear.

Take action, make change — force them to hear our voices.