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Kansas’ Davids lauds court decision on abortion pill; Marshall critiques Democrats’ IVF bill

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Kansas’ Davids lauds court decision on abortion pill; Marshall critiques Democrats’ IVF bill

Jun 13, 2024 | 5:56 pm ET
By Tim Carpenter
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Kansas’ Davids lauds court decision on abortion pill; Marshall critiques Democrats’ IVF bill
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U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, applauded a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to turn aside a lawsuit seeking to direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to significantly limit access to the abortion pill mifepristone. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas said the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of an attempt to undermine the federal Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of a widely available abortion medication wouldn’t be the final act by opponents of reproductive rights.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court said the plaintiffs, comprised of anti-abortion physicians and organizations, didn’t have standing to pursue the lawsuit against the FDA aimed at curtailing access to the drug mifepristone. It’s possible other plaintiffs capable of showing they were harmed by availability of the pill could challenge FDA approval of the drug. It is used in approximately half of all abortions in the United States.

“I will always stand with Kansans who overwhelmingly rejected extremist attempts to limit reproductive health care access,” said Davids, the 3rd District Democrat. “Yet, for the second year in a row, a vital and safe reproductive health care medication was under attack, threatening to strip Kansans’ ability to freely make health care decisions that are best for their families and futures.”

Davids said the Supreme Court opinion was “a victory for our freedoms,” but the legal fight regarding abortion access was far from over. She vowed to continue opposing attempts to “interfere in our most private health care decisions.”

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, signed an amicus brief urging federal courts to rule the FDA overstepped its authority years ago in regard to use of mifepristone. U.S. Reps. Ron Estes, Tracey Mann and Jake LaTurner, signed a brief that argued the Supreme Court should reverse the FDA.

These Kansas lawmakers said the FDA’s action to deregulate “chemical abortion drugs” subverted Congress’ public policy interests and patient welfare.

Mifepristone, which is authorized for up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy, was part of two-drug regimen that included misoprostol as the second pharmaceutical.

Meanwhile, both U.S. senators from Kansas, Republicans Jerry Moran and Marshall, voted Thursday to block legislation offered by Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois that would affirm the right of women attempting to become pregnant to seek fertility treatments that included in vitro fertilization or IVF.

The Senate vote on that measure was 48-47, which was short of the 60 votes required to advance the measure.

On Wednesday, Marshall said the Duckworth bill contained “poison pills” that violated the religious freedom of physicians and would unnecessarily broaden access to reproductive technology. He praised a piece of IVF legislation sponsored by Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

“This is personal to so many of us,” said Marshall, a physician who delivered babies for 30 years in Kansas. “The country needs to know that Republicans believe in IVF. I happen to believe IVF is a gift from God.”