Attorney General Kris Mayes Fights To Keep Abortion Drug Accessible

Attorney General Kris Mayes Fights To Keep Abortion Drug Accessible

By Corinne Murdock |

Attorney General Kris Mayes has issued another challenge to keep accessibility of the controversial abortion drug mifepristone. 

In a press release issued Tuesday, Mayes announced that she’d joined an amicus brief against the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruling blocking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of mifepristone. Mayes accused Texas federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of being an “extremist” opposing medical consensus.

“We cannot allow anti-abortion activists and an extremist judge to undo over two decades of medical consensus. Mifepristone is safe and effective and has been used by millions of Americans over the past two decades,” said Mayes. 


The efficacy and safety of mifepristone remains dubious. In the ruling challenged by Mayes, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, Kacsmaryk noted the hundreds of known cases of infections and deaths arising from the drug’s usage. Kacsmaryk cited a 2006 hearing and report by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources, which noted at least 8 women’s deaths, 9 life-threatening illnesses, 232 hospitalizations, 116 blood transfusions, and 88 cases of infection; overall, over 950 adverse event cases from the drug out of 575,000 prescriptions. 

Kacsmaryk also noted that the FDA took nearly 14 years to reject a petition from multiple medical professional coalitions challenging their approval of the drug. The judge further noted that, on the same day of their rejection of the petition, the FDA expanded allowed usage for the abortion drug, changed the dosage, reduced the number of required in-person office visits, allowed non-doctors to prescribe and administer the drug, and eliminated the requirement for prescribers to report non-fatal adverse events from the drug. 

In the ruling, Kacsmaryk shared that there are likely far more than the known 4,200 adverse events from chemical abortion drugs due to the FDA’s rule change eliminating non-fatal adverse reporting requirements and emergency rooms miscoding over 60 percent of women’s emergency room visits for adverse abortion drug reactions as miscarriages.

What’s more, Kacsmaryk rejected the main justification for the FDA’s approval of the abortion drug: reclassifying pregnancy as a “serious or life-threatening illness” and therefore justifying mifepristone as a “meaningful therapeutic benefit.” 

“Pregnancy is a normal physiological state most women experience one or more times during their childbearing years — a natural process essential to perpetuating life,” stated Kacsmaryk. “Nothing in the [FDA] Final Rule supports the interpretation that pregnancy is a serious or life-threatening illness.”

Kacsmaryk also pointed out that the FDA had neglected to apply its logic to expedited treatments for other, less politicized ailments. 

“[C]ategorizing complications or negative psychological experiences arising from pregnancy as ‘illnesses’ is materially different than classifying pregnancy itself as a serious or life-threatening illness,” stated Kascmaryk. “Tellingly, [the] FDA never explains how or why a ‘condition’ would not qualify as a ‘serious or life-threatening illness.’ Suppose that a woman experiences depression because of lower back pain that inhibits her mobility. Under FDA’s reading, a new drug used to treat lower back pain — which can cause depression, just like unplanned pregnancy — could obtain accelerated approval [per the FDA’s rationale].”

The FDA approval took place during the Clinton administration. Similar to Kacsmaryk, the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) noted in 2008 that medical professionals critical of the abortion drug’s approval questioned the reclassification of the abortion drug as warranted.

“Critics have argued that unwanted pregnancy should not be considered a serious or life-threatening illness.”

The Texas federal court ruling doesn’t impact Arizona at present; it may later on, based on pending future rulings in higher courts. 

SCOTUS agreed to an application for a stay by the FDA of the Texas district court ruling, filed early last month. SCOTUS issued the stay late last month, allowing mifepristone to be made widely available while the appeals process plays out in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 

Joining Mayes in the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

House Defends Arizona Laws And Unborn

House Defends Arizona Laws And Unborn

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizonans used to a proactive Attorney General defending the state’s laws have had to readjust their expectations due to the political transfer of power in January.

During the first two years of the Biden Administration, Arizona was at the forefront of many of the political and legal battles sweeping the nation, in large part due to then-Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s defense of federalism and state laws. The Brnovich-led Arizona Attorney General’s Office took a leading and proactive role in dozens of lawsuits to push back against the federal government’s overreach and to enforce the laws the state legislature passed.

This changed once the new Attorney General Kris Mayes assumed the reins of the state’s top law enforcement agency. Mayes, a Democrat, has quickly abandoned some of the lawsuits initiated or joined by her predecessor or her office has slowed action on other cases.

The abrupt change in litigation policy from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has forced the Republican-led Arizona Legislature into a central role when it comes to defending the Grand Canyon State’s laws and values. Both the State Senate and House have worked in tandem to assume the guardianship of key cases that have lost adequate representation since January.

On Thursday, the Arizona House of Representatives Majority Communications issued a release to update the public on “successful intervention(s) in cases to defend state laws and fight against federal overreach.” The announcement highlighted that “Members of the Arizona House of Representatives of the 56th Legislature have been in office less than four months but have already achieved major court victories, under Speaker Toma’s leadership and united with the State Senate.”

The House Majority celebrated four victories: Mi Familia Vota v. Fontes et al. – an Election Integrity case; 56th Legislature et al. v. Biden et al. ­– an intervention to protect “Arizona’s Sovereign Authority Against Federal Overreach”; Kentch et al. v. Mayes – an Election Contest case; Isaacson v. Mayes – aDefense of Law Protecting Unborn Children with Disabilities.”

For the benefit of readers, the press release provided detailed commentary on each of the cases to allow for a greater understanding and appreciation of the Legislature’s efforts:

Mi Familia Vota v. Fontes et al.: “On April 26,a federal court granted Speaker Toma’s and President Petersen’s motion to intervene to defend Arizona laws that require proof of citizenship and proof of residence in the state when registering to vote and require the county recorder to review the voter rolls. When Speaker Toma and President Petersen realized the state’s interests would not be adequately protected in this case, they immediately sought intervention.”

56th Legislature et al. v. Biden et al.: ­On April 25, the Legislature and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce filed an emergency application with the United States Supreme Court challenging President Biden’s executive order that unconstitutionally infringes on Arizonans’ medical freedoms by forcing federal contractors to receive the experimental COVID-19 vaccine or risk losing their jobs. The Legislature successfully intervened in the 9th Circuit after Arizona Attorney General Mayes stated she would not fully defend the injunction of Biden’s vaccine mandate that her predecessor secured to protect all Arizonans.”

Kentch et al. v. Mayes:On April 11, the Mohave County Superior Court granted Speaker Toma’s and President Petersen’s motion to submit an amicus brief. This brief encourages the court to fully consider Abe Hamadeh’s motion for new trial, scheduled for oral argument on May 16, consistent with Arizona laws governing election contests.”

Isaacson v. Mayes: “On March 8, a federal court granted Speaker Toma’s and President Petersen’s motion to intervene to defend a law that prohibits abortions based solely on a child’s genetic abnormality after Arizona Attorney General Mayes stated she would not defend the law.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Attorney General Mayes Encouraging Pharmacies To Give Out Abortion Pills

Attorney General Mayes Encouraging Pharmacies To Give Out Abortion Pills

By Corinne Murdock |

Attorney General Kris Mayes revealed over the weekend that her office has been encouraging pharmacies to give out abortion pills.

Mayes issued the remarks in an interview with MSNBC last Saturday discussing a multistate lawsuit against the FDA for imposing allegedly burdensome regulation on mifepristone, a drug used for abortions. Joining Mayes on the live interview were Attorneys General Kathy Jennings (Delaware) and Ellen Rosenblum (Oregon). 

“We are one of those states who have actually encouraged Walgreens, and CVS, and other pharmacies to continue to offer the medication despite that pressure by Republican AGs,” said Mayes.

The attorney general criticized GOP attorneys general in other states, specifically Texas, for opposing abortion. 

“You see that effort by some of those GOP attorneys general to continue to try to limit the access of women to abortion in every possible way they can find,” said Mayes. “Despite the fact that Roe was overturned, and it was sent back to the states, they’re still making these efforts in states to limit a woman’s access to abortion. And that’s why actions by Democratic AGs largely are so important. We’re going to continue to fight going forward.”

A total of 12 states joined the lawsuit against the FDA: Rosenblum and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson led the lawsuit, joined by Nevada, Delaware, Illinois, Connecticut, Colorado, Vermont, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. The states requested a preliminary injunction to halt the restrictions on mifepristone, which require that health care providers be specially certified by the drug distributor in advance, patients and providers be willing to sign an agreement certifying that the patient has decided to take drugs to end their pregnancy, and pharmacies be specially certified to fill a prescription and dispense the drug.

Mayes claimed in a press release on the FDA lawsuit that mifepristone is safe. The FDA restrictions, specifically a risk evaluation mitigation strategy (REMS), ensure that mifepristone’s benefits outweigh any risks. Congressional Research Service (CRS) noted that the FDA is looking to roll back these REMS regulations.

During the MSNBC interview, Mayes also revealed that she plans to set up a “reproductive rights” unit in her office. She further added that she wouldn’t prosecute anyone for providing an abortion, even if they broke state law, and would do everything in her power to prevent county attorneys from enforcing abortion law. Mayes noted that she’s able to defy law because she and Gov. Katie Hobbs are Democrats.

“You do have a state like Arizona that has a Republican legislature, thankfully we have a Democratic attorney general and a Democratic governor now who will stop that kind of thing,” said Mayes. “I have been clear here in Arizona that we will never prosecute a woman, a doctor, a midwife, a nurse for abortion. But we have 15 county attorneys in Arizona and I’ve been clear also that I will fight any effort by a county attorney to prosecute.”

Mayes’ pledge to not prosecute aligns with her campaign promise to oppose abortion law.

Mayes claimed abortion is a constitutional right, and indicated that she would take legal action to fight current abortion restrictions. Arizona law currently bans abortion after 15 weeks. 

“We are prepared to take action in support of those constitutional rights,” said Mayes.

At least three cities have effectively decriminalized abortion: TucsonPhoenix, and, most recently, Flagstaff.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to