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After hearing arguments for a lawsuit challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s decades-old approval of the abortion drug mifepristone, a Texas district court judge said he would issue a ruling as soon as possible in what has become the latest high-profile abortion fight after the fall of Roe v. Wade.
Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a conservative favorite, would exercise an unprecedented use of judicial power by reversing the FDA’s approval and would significantly limit access to the most common form of abortion in the United States.
As providers and pharmacies await Kacsmaryk’s decision, nearly half of Americans said they would not support a judicial ruling that would overturn the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, according to a new Morning Consult survey conducted before the hearing.
Nearly Half the Public Would Oppose a Judicial Ruling to Overturn the FDA’s Approval of Mifepristone
Republicans split on support for a judicial decision that could revoke the FDA’s approval of mifepristone
- While nearly half of U.S. adults said they would not support a decision to revoke the approval of the abortion drug, nearly 3 in 10 said they would support such a ruling, and nearly 1 in 4 said they do not know or have no opinion.
- The majority of Democrats (57%) said they would oppose a ruling to overturn the drug’s approval, compared with 27% who said they would support it and 16% who said they did not know. Republicans were more split on the potential overturning, with 39% saying they would support revoking the approval and 35% saying they would oppose it.
- Nearly half of the public said it “strongly” or “somewhat” disapproves of federally appointed state judges having the power to overturn FDA approvals of medications, while 1 in 3 said they approve of that authority and 1 in 5 said they do not know.
1 in 3 U.S. Adults Approve of Pharmacies’ Choice Against Selling Abortion Drugs in Some GOP-Controlled States
Nearly half of adults oppose pharmacies’ choice to not sell abortion drugs in some GOP-led states
- Another ongoing story is whether retail pharmacies will sell abortion pills in all states after Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said it would not offer the drugs in certain Republican-led states. Among all adults, 47% said they “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of pharmacies' decision to not sell the drugs in GOP states, compared with 34% who said they approve and 19% who said they do not know or have no opinion.
- A majority of Democrats (58%) said they disapprove of pharmacies’ decision to not offer abortion pills in certain GOP states, but a notable share (30%) said they approve. About half of Republicans said they support pharmacies’ choice to not offer the pills, compared with 1 in 3 who said they disapprove of the decision and 1 in 5 who said they do not know.
- Half of the public said state legality should be a “major” factor in a company’s decision to sell a controversial product, compared with 55% who said federal legality is a “major” factor.
- Among all adults, 37% said they have seen, read or heard “a lot” or “some” about the impending Texas ruling, and 44% said they heard about Walgreens' decision.
The March 11-12, 2023, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,200 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.