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OK judge throws out law banning off-label use of abortion drugs

abortion pill

On Monday, Oklahoma District Judge Patricia Parrish struck down the state’s 2014 law prohibiting certain abortion-inducing drugs such as mifepristone (the first of the two pills involved in RU-486) from being prescribed in ways outside of FDA protocols, the Associated Press reports.

The pro-abortion organizations Reproductive Services and Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice challenged the law on the basis that limiting the option to prescribe abortion drugs at lower doses – which is said to make them abort more effectively later in pregnancy – unconstitutionally limited abortion options and discriminated against the drugs by not applying the law to other kinds of medication.

As Live Action News has previously reported, mifepristone is the first of the two pills involved in the chemical abortion method RU-486. If the second pill, misoprostol, fails to work, mifepristone  can result in women’s death by sepsis. A number of women, including some who identify as pro-choice, have publicly written of severely negative experiences with RU-486. Some of these experiences have specifically occurred when the drug is used in a manner outside of FDA protocol.

At the time of the law’s passage, Oklahoma Deputy Solicitor General Mithun Mansinghani argued that six reported U.S. deaths related to the drugs in question justified mandating FDA compliance with “safer alternatives” to “this particular method.” Yet, pro-abortion groups still fight restrictions on their use of the drugs, despite the risks the clinics’ use poses to women.

Arizona, Arkansas, North Dakota, Ohio, and Texas currently have similar laws on the books, though Arizona’s is also currently pending legal challenge. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has vowed to appeal the ruling.

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