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Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration: A Pseudoscientific, Paternalistic Bid To Ban Medication Abortion Care

Julia Bourkland, Research Assistant | Fact Sheets

April 3, 2024 Update

SCOTUS heard oral arguments for FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine on March 26, 2024, with a decision likely to be released in June. Importantly, SCOTUS will hear cert petitions from the FDA and Mifeprex manufacturer Danco Laboratories, but not the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine. Due to a stay issued by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, mifepristone is still accessible for now. Mifepristone is safe and effective and is the most commonly used method of abortion care in the U.S.


On November 18, 2022, shortly after the midterm elections and a few months before the Food and Drug Administration finalized a new version of the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) on medication abortion care, a group of anti-abortion organizations filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas’ Amarillo division asking to overturn the FDA’s approval of the abortion medication drug mifepristone.

Mifepristone, one of two commonly used abortion pills, was first approved by the FDA in 2000. It is manufactured and sold as Mifeprex by Danco Laboratories and as generic mifepristone tablets by GenBioPro. Mifepristone is an incredibly safe and effective drug that has now been well-studied for several decades. 

The collective of plaintiffs in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA actively obstruct reproductive health care access in their missions and spread medical disinformation (including pushing “abortion pill reversal,” per plaintiff D.O.s and M.D.s’ biographies in the lawsuit). Representing these plaintiffs is the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group that strategically filed the lawsuit in the Northern District of Texas, which is an example of court shopping. The case will be decided by Trump-appointed and religious-right judge Matthew Kacsmaryk; it is important to note that, because of the way cases are assigned in the Northern District of Texas, all cases brought to the Amarillo division will be assigned to Kacsmaryk.

The original deadline for this lawsuit of Friday, February 10, 2023, was extended to Friday February 24, 2023. From there, a decision can be released at any time. While people in different states have varying legal access to abortion care, especially since Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, this case would effectively ban medication abortion nationwide if ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, regardless if one lives in a state where abortion access is protected, because the suit is challenging the authority of a federal agency. If appealed, this case would move up to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and from there could go all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, an outcome anti-abortion advocates are hoping for.

Key Players

The collective of plaintiffs in this case is led by the newly established anti-abortion coalition, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, an interest group of medical professionals that actively oppose abortion care and go against the four pillars of medical ethics per its organizational oath and mission. Its partnering organizations are Catholic Medical Association, Coptic Medical Association of North America, American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), and Christian Medical and Dental Associations. The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine is incorporated in Tennessee and has a registered agent in Amarillo, Texas. According to its franchise tax account status with the Texas Comptroller, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine’s registration date with the Texas Secretary of State is August 5, 2022, approximately three and a half months before this lawsuit was filed. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine’s website is sparse and only a few months old; included in its website, though, is an inspirational video recapping its affiliate partners and a clarification that the Alliance is “individuals and organizations that are not medical professionals,” which one can find by scrolling down their landing page.

As Rewire noted, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine is a fairly new organization, seemingly created for the sole purpose of filing this lawsuit. However, this newly formed group did publish a press release following the enactment of SB8 in Texas. Additionally, ACPeds amplified a statement from the Alliance dated November 1, 2021, which falsely states that abortion care is not health care and cites medical disinformation commonly used among anti-abortion advocates. Its name also appears in an August 2021 online publication of the Linacre Quarterly — the academic journal of the Catholic Medical Association. So although the Alliance’s advocacy efforts are fairly new, the group has been active in its promotion of anti-abortion rhetoric.

The plaintiffs in this case include the following organizational members of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and anti-abortion medical providers:

The claims in this lawsuit are rooted in medical disinformation and fearmongering about mifepristone’s safety and efficacy and steeped in co-opted “empowerment” language that infantilizes pregnant people. Efforts to hinder access to medication abortion are rooted in anti-abortion political agendas; not evidence-based science. This lawsuit is representative of the anti-abortion movement’s broader strategy to limit reproductive freedom and obstruct safe and equitable access to essential health care by any means necessary. Plaintiffs in this case have displayed their machinations in press releases and media interviews related to this lawsuit and in their organizational mission statements. 

The Bottom Line

Bans on medication abortion care are based on political agendas aiming to obstruct reproductive freedom, not science. Medication abortion is safe, effective, and standard practice in reproductive health care. In a post-Roe world, access to mifepristone should be expanded — not restricted — so that every person can determine their own reproductive health care decisions.

For more information on equitable reproductive health care access, please check out our related research:

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