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April 10, 2023

WSMA and WC-ACOG Joint Statement on Federal Rulings Concerning Mifepristone

SEATTLE, WA - (This release was updated on Friday, April 13.) Mifepristone is one of two drugs used for medication abortion, a protocol that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for two decades. Washington state law continues to ensure access to abortion services; however, Friday's ruling in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA seeks to constrain the options physicians are able to provide to their patients even in protected states and represents a gross interference in the practice of medicine and of the patient-physician relationship.

The WSMA supports the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists clinical guidance on medication abortion, which includes the following: The medication abortion regimen supported by major medical organizations nationally and internationally includes two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol. If mifepristone is unavailable, then a misoprostol-only regimen is an acceptable alternative.

On the other hand, both the Washington chapter of ACOG and the WSMA joined an amicus brief in support of Washington v. FDA and are encouraged by this ruling in this case, which impacts the 18 plaintiff states. This is a separate lawsuit that asserts the FDA's approval of mifepristone is legal and orders the FDA from taking action to remove or reduce the availability of mifepristone, as well as eliminate the unnecessary restrictions applied on mifepristone. (Update, April 13, 2023: The court denied the motion for leave to file an amicus brief without explanation, which can happen from time to time, especially on these expedited matters.)

In light of these two contradictory rulings, our organizations will work to ensure there's understanding among physicians and their patients of their care options. Despite increasingly hostile and restrictive efforts to constrain access to essential reproductive health care services, Washington state physicians are dedicated to continuing to provide medication and procedural abortion services.

For more information contact:

Cindy Sharpe
Washington State Medical Association Communications / 813.244.2883 cell/text

About the Washington State Medical Association
The WSMA represents nearly 12,500 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians, and medical students across all specialties and practice types in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine for more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.

About the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Founded in 1951, ACOG is the premier professional membership organization for obstetrician-gynecologists. Today, ACOG is the nation's leading group of physicians providing obstetric and gynecologic care, with 60,000 members. ACOG's vision is an equitable world in which exceptional and respectful obstetric and gynecologic care is accessible to all.

Join or renew your membership today!