May 19, 2024

New York City Leads Coalition of Cities and Counties Across the US to Fight for Continued Access to Medication Abortion Drugs in the Face of a Texas Ban

Mayor Eric Adams distributes flyers for an upcoming New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services’ (DCAS) government “Hiring Hall” event. Dyckman Street Subway Station, Manhattan. Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.
Mayor Eric Adams distributes flyers for an upcoming New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services’ (DCAS) government “Hiring Hall” event. Dyckman Street Subway Station, Manhattan. Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

New York City is leading a coalition of cities and counties from across the United States to fight for continued access to medication abortion drugs. The move comes after a Texas district court ruling that would ban the long-accepted medication abortion regimen nationwide. The filing of an amicus brief, supporting the federal government for emergency stay, argues that the ruling undermines public health and rests on baseless claims.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Corporation Counsel Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix announced the legal filing, which signals their strong support for the federal government’s application for an emergency stay of a federal district court’s ruling. The ruling would put a hold on the FDA’s 2000 approval of the medication abortion drug mifepristone, starting this Friday.

The coalition argues that the district court’s order undermines public health because it will harm already overburdened public hospitals without realizing the detrimental impact it would have on healthcare for residents of each locality. They also claim that the baseless claims that medication abortion is unsafe are without merit.

The amicus brief, which is filed in Alliance of Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, states that withdrawing federal approval of mifepristone would gravely harm public health care systems across the country. The coalition warns that if medication abortion is suddenly removed as an option for health-care providers and their patients, demands placed on public hospitals will increase. Public hospitals, in turn, would then have to divert resources to meet the increased demand for emergency care and for procedural abortions from their existing patients and from new patients who otherwise would have sought care from providers who cannot pivot to providing procedural abortions.

The coalition includes New York City and NYC Health + Hospitals, Santa Clara County, California, Los Angeles and San Francisco counties, California, the city of San Francisco, California, Cook County, Illinois, and King County, Washington.

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