Vermont joins two amicus briefs in support of access to mifepristone and preventative reproductive health care under Title X
Attorney General Charity Clark continued her efforts to protect medication abortions and reproductive health care yesterday by joining a pair of multi-state actions.
“I’ve said it before: I will do everything in my power as Attorney General to ensure that Vermonters maintain their right to reproductive liberty and access to abortion,” said Attorney General Charity Clark. “We’ve all seen how these decisions from Texas could have national impacts and, therefore, my office will continue to fight wherever we have to. I will do everything in my power as Attorney General to make sure that our right to an abortion is preserved and our bodily autonomy is respected.”
Medication Abortions: In the first case, Attorney General Clark announced that she joined with 23 other attorneys general to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit arguing that the decision issued by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas would do serious harm to Americans’ access to the medication abortion drug, mifepristone.
This filing is the latest action taken by Attorney General Clark since the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a stay in that case on April 21, preserving the status quo with respect to availability of mifepristone during the pendency of the appeal in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA.
The attorneys general argue that the FDA’s determination that mifepristone is safe and effective is supported by an overwhelming medical consensus developed over more than two decades of use. The coalition also argues that the FDA’s subsequent regulatory actions, including authorizing the generic version of mifepristone, permitting qualified clinicians other than physicians to authorize its usage, and enabling its distribution by mail, are all backed by solid evidence.
The attorneys general urge the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to reverse the lower court ruling and note that if that ruling is allowed to stand, it will harm millions of Americans, with underserved groups, including women of color, low-income women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals, being hardest hit.
Reproductive Health Care/Title X: In the second multi-state action announced today, Attorney General Clark joined with 23 states to support reproductive health care as provided by the Title X program, the sole federal program dedicated to family planning services.
In this case, the attorneys general are supporting the Biden Administration’s appeal of a Texas court ruling that placed limitations on the Title X program’s provision of services to minors in Texas. In an amicus brief filed yesterday, the attorneys general argue that imposing restrictions on the program would make it harder for vulnerable young people to seek and receive necessary medical care and could ultimately harm their health and safety.
The Biden Administration is appealing a December 2022 ruling – also by U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas Matthew Kacsmaryk – in Deanda v. Becerra. The ruling prohibited the provision of Title X services to minors in Texas without parental consent.
The attorneys general argue that confidentiality plays a critical role in protecting adolescents’ access to Title X services. Studies show that the program’s guarantee of confidentiality:
- Encourages sexually active adolescents to seek necessary medical care;
- Helps prevent teenage pregnancies and lower the transmission rates of sexually transmitted infections;
- Enhances the quality and effectiveness of the services provided; and
- Encourages family involvement in family planning.
The Title X program is an important source of funding for states to provide affordable birth control and other sexual and reproductive health care to their residents, especially those from underserved groups such as rural communities, communities of color, and low-income, uninsured, and underinsured families. In 2018 alone, the program supported about 3,825 safety-net family planning centers that collectively served 3.9 million patients.
Contact: Lauren Jandl, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171