Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) and Local Leaders Respond to the Decision to Rescind the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) Approval for Mifepristone

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) released the following statement from President and CEO Sue Dunlap in response to today’s unprecedented and deeply harmful move to declare mifepristone unlawful, threatening the 22-year approval one of two medications used in the most common medication abortion regiment in the United States.

Los Angeles – Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) released the following statement from President and CEO Sue Dunlap in response to today’s unprecedented and deeply harmful move to declare mifepristone unlawful, threatening the 22-year approval one of two medications used in the most common medication abortion regiment in the United States.

“This decision is an outright attack on our rights and our ability to make decisions about our own futures. It is an attack on patients seeking care. Abortion is essential healthcare and we remain committed to ensuring out patients have access to the services they need,” said Sue Dunlap, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), filed by several anti-abortion medical groups in November 2022 in the Northern District of Texas, sought to repeal the FDA’s approval of mifepristone. The plaintiffs argued that the FDA fast-tracked its approval of the medication without sufficient scientific evidence, using a regulatory process intended for treatments for life-threatening illnesses. Moreover, they requested the revival of the Comstock Act of 1873, an antiquated and scarcely enforced law that attempted to ban “obscenities” such as abortion medication from being sent via mail.

“When the opinions of scientists and medical professionals are bypassed by judges, lives are put at risk. This ruling is yet another attack on the rights of women across this country,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “But we cannot allow this ruling to cause us to despair – it must drive us to take action. For as long as I serve as Mayor, I will do all I can to ensure that Los Angeles remains a safe haven for women across the country who are seeking access to abortion care and reproductive freedom.”

The consequences of this case are incredibly far-reaching — and go as far as taking mifepristone entirely off the market nationwide — even in states where abortion is accessible and protected. Because Mifepristone is used in more than half of abortion procedures nationwide, taking it off the market would significantly compromise abortion access across the country — including in California, Illinois, New York, and other states that have secured abortion access.

Los Angeles County Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Lindsey P. Horvath echoed their concerns. “Let me be crystal clear, Los Angeles County will continue to provide free and low-cost access to abortion and reproductive healthcare services,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell.  “While today’s undemocratic restriction on abortion is distressing, LA County has safeguarded reproductive rights by declaring the county a safe haven for abortion access. I will proudly continue to stand with my colleagues in fighting to preserve reproductive health care services in our county and our state.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvathstated: “Today’s decision is another painful reminder that misogyny and sexism are alive and well. While the courts continue to undermine our agency, privacy, and basic human rights, Los Angeles County continues to serve as a safe harbor for all seeking reproductive freedom and access. We are building out infrastructure through the Abortion Safe Haven Project to care for Angelenos as well as those throughout the country who are denied access in their home states.  Los Angeles County stands ready to ensure safe and affordable access to a full range of reproductive healthcare services, including abortion, through the partnership of valued providers like Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. Our Board, our Sheriff, and our District Attorney are aligned in our commitment to reproductive justice and ensuring the safety and protection of all who seek or provide these essential services and care.”

In preparation for today’s ruling, PPLA has been working with the State of California, Los Angeles County, and the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and West Hollywood to prepare for the impact this decision will have on Planned Parenthood health centers across California. In January 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom declared California a Safe Haven State for abortion access. Following that announcement, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared Los Angeles County a Safe Haven County for access to abortion and reproductive health care.

The momentum for reproductive rights has only continued to grow as progressive cities like Long Beach, Los Angeles, and West Hollywood have demonstrated their unwavering support for access to safe and legal abortion. With many states nationwide implementing hostile bans on reproductive healthcare, these cities have taken the lead in preparing for an increase in patients seeking care. And in November 2022, their hard work paid off, as Proposition 1 was overwhelmingly passed, amending the California Constitution to explicitly protect a person’s fundamental rights to have an abortion and to choose or refuse contraceptives.

“The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office stands with an individual’s right to seek care. I will fight hand in hand with you to ensure everyone has autonomy over your health, your body and your safety,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney GeorgeGascón.“We know bans don’t stop abortions — they only make access to reproductive care more dangerous & risk lives. The medical choices that an individual makes for themselves will never be a prosecutorial offense in Los Angeles. Together, we will work towards a future where reproductive autonomy is universal.”

“Everyone should have access to affordable and safe reproductive health care options. The Sheriff’s Department will continue to prioritize the safety of patients and clinics,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna.  “We will not cooperate with attempts to prosecute people who are seeking abortion care. Reproductive healthcare access will remain legal and protected in the County of Los Angeles.”

“California has been at the forefront of protecting abortion access since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade,” said California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo.  “We passed one of the most comprehensive bill packages in the country last year for reproductive rights, and Californians overwhelmingly supported a constitutional amendment protecting access to abortion services. This decision is yet another undemocratic attempt to undermine patients’ abilities to make decisions about their lives and futures.”

Despite today’s decision, it’s important to remember that abortion is still a legal and essential healthcare service in California. If you or someone you know needs access to reproductive healthcare, don’t hesitate to visit Planned Parenthood Los Angeles at call 1-800-576-5544 for confidential and compassionate care.

Link to Kacsmaryk Decision