May 2, 2023 - News

Cleveland among 45 cities backing Mifepristone access

A carton of orange Mifepristone boxes

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Cleveland is among 45 local governments that filed an appellate court brief Monday calling for access to Mifepristone, a medication used in terminating early-stage pregnancies.

Driving the news: The brief outlined the heightened health and financial costs low-income and medically underserved residents would face if the drug is banned.

  • "Pregnant people will undergo invasive procedural abortion, will delay abortion care, terminate their pregnancies using alternative means that present additional risks … or may be forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will," the brief reads.

Catch up quick: On April 21, the U.S. Supreme Court halted a Texas district court's ruling that blocked the FDA's approval of the drug.

  • The decision used anti-abortion rights rhetoric to argue that medication abortion has a "negative impact" and that the agency's safety data on the pill is "potentially misleading," Axios' Oriana González reports.

By the numbers: Mifepristone is part of a two-drug regimen used in medication abortion, which accounts for 53% of abortions in the U.S., according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

What's next: The Fifth Circuit has scheduled a hearing for May 17. Access to Mifepristone will not change while the litigation proceeds.

Zoom in: Cleveland's participation in the brief is the latest effort by Mayor Justin Bibb to promote pro-abortion rights policy in the wake of last year's Dobbs decision.

  • Bibb signed an executive order declaring that Cleveland would not prosecute abortion cases and created a $100,000 "reproductive freedom fund" for Cleveland residents seeking abortion care out of state.

At a weekend event in Larchmere, Bibb signed the petition to place a constitutional amendment enshrining abortion rights on Ohio’s 2023 General Election ballot.

What they're saying: “This is a fight we can’t afford to lose," he said.

  • "Denying access to reproductive health care will put women at risk, especially Black women, who are two to three times more likely to die of a pregnancy-related cause."

The other side: As volunteers circulate petitions, Republicans at the Ohio Statehouse have greenlighted an August election to vote on a controversial measure that, if passed, would make it harder to amend the constitution.


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