Medical groups and the FDA say the abortion drug mifepristone is safe, effective and any serious side effects are rare.
But a lawsuit on behalf of several anti abortion groups and doctors argues people have been harmed by the drug. They also say the FDA overstepped its authority when it approved the pill. The FDA strongly disputes that.
The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to force the FDA to revoke its approval of mifespristone.
This marks the first major abortion case before a federal judge since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
One outcome here is that this judge intervenes to overrule scientific decisions made by the FDA. Legal scholars say there is no precedent for this and, in fact, lawyers for the anti-abortion group could not cite a case when asked by the judge.
The judge also grilled government lawyers about the FDA process in approving medications.
The court only allowed in 19 members of the news media, and only streamed the audio of the hearing to another courthouse in Dallas.
SEE MORE: Hearing set in case that seeks to ban abortion pill nationwide
It gave rather short public notice about the hearing, only posting it on the docket on Monday and only really after the Washington Post reported that the judge wanted lawyers involved to stay quiet about the hearing.
Lawyers for anti-abortion groups, the pharmaceutical company that makes the group, and the government didn’t take questions after leaving court.
A modest number of protesters showed up outside, some in costume. A man dressed as a kangaroo, in effect, denounced today as a kangaroo court and others as clowns.
"We’re reminding everyone that he’s the one out here that created this circus. 'Kangaroo Kacsmaryk' is the one who created the situation where people have to come out here and create a circus because we’re trying to defend our rights," said Jamie Lyons, who is protesting the hearing.
"But if a political party can move a political agenda to take a certain drug off the market because it doesn’t suit that agenda then where does that stop?" asked Rachel O'Leary Carmona, the executive director of Women’s March.
"Does that stop with mifepristone? Does it continue on to Plan B? Birth control? Prep? To hormones? To COVID-19 medicine or any of the things that folks in that political camp oppose, including other vaccines?"
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