A federal appeals court judge on Wednesday questioned a lawyer for Danco, the manufacturer of the brand name abortion pill mifepristone, about whether Mother’s Day is “celebrating illness,” during oral arguments over the drug’s approval.
Judge James Ho, an appointee of former President Trump, expressed doubts about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) use of an expedited process to approve mifepristone more than 20 years ago. The accelerated approval process is typically reserved for medications used to treat serious or life-threatening illnesses.
“Pregnancy is not a serious illness,” Ho said, later adding, “When we celebrated Mother’s Day, were we celebrating illness?”
Danco lawyer Jessica Ellsworth rejected this premise, noting that the FDA has used the words “illness,” “condition” and “disease” interchangeably when discussing the rule for expedited approval.
“I agree, your honor, that is the language that is used in the regulation itself,” Ellsworth said. “But as I said, in the preamble and in the discussion of the comments that were submitted in conjunction with that rulemaking, there is discussion about it applying to conditions.” (Read more from “Judge in Abortion Pill Case Asks if Mother’s Day Is ‘Celebrating Illness’” HERE)
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