Nearly Half of the Public Opposes Texas Judge’s Decision to Overturn FDA’s Approval of Abortion Pill
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A ruling by a federal judge in Texas to suspend the Food and Drug Administration's approval of the abortion pill mifepristone is opposed by nearly half the public, according to a new Morning Consult survey.
Nearly Half the Public Opposes Federal Judge's Ruling to Suspend FDA's Approval of Mifepristone
3 in 5 Democrats oppose the Texas judge’s abortion pill ruling
- While 47% of U.S. adults oppose U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s decision, 29% said they support the ruling and 24% said they do not know or have no opinion. The results are in line with a March survey conducted before the ruling was issued.
- Among Democrats, 3 in 5 said they oppose the suspension of FDA approval for mifepristone, and roughly 1 in 4 said they support the decision. Republicans were more likely to support (43%) than oppose (33%) the suspension.
- Among all U.S. adults, 3 in 5 said they support medication abortion access to people in their state, including 77% of Democrats, 52% of independents and 42% of Republicans. However, just 3 in 10 adults said they have a “very” or “somewhat” favorable view of mifepristone, while about half (46%) said they have never heard of the drug.
2 in 5 Americans Say Federal Judge’s Abortion Pill Ruling Was Outside His Jurisdiction
Nearly 2 in 5 Republicans say the Texas judge’s decision was within his jurisdiction
- Among all U.S. adults, roughly 2 in 5 said Kacsmaryk’s suspension of the FDA’s approval of mifepristone was outside of his jurisdiction, compared with about 1 in 4 who said the decision was within his jurisdiction and roughly 1 in 3 who said they did not know or had no opinion.
- Nearly 3 in 5 Democrats said the judge was outside of his jurisdiction, while about 2 in 5 Republicans said the ruling was within his jurisdiction. Among independents, about 1 in 3 said the ruling was outside of the judge’s jurisdiction, while 1 in 5 said it was within and nearly half said they did not know or had no opinion.
- Nearly half of U.S. adults (47%) said they had seen, read or heard “a lot” or “some” about Kacsmaryk’s ruling, with Democrats (58%) more likely to have heard of the decision than Republicans (40%) or independents (37%).
Access to medication abortion remains in question
The fate of the most common method of abortion will likely be in question for the foreseeable future after Kacsmaryk’s unprecedented ruling that overturned the FDA’s 23-year-old approval of the medication. Shortly after the decision, a Washington judge ordered the FDA to continue to offer the drug in Washington, D.C., and 17 states, which issued a lawsuit to maintain the status quo.
The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily upheld the FDA’s approval following the Justice Department’s appeal. However, the mostly conservative court did not overturn Kacsmaryk’s block of other measures that increased access to the medication.
Patients, providers and manufacturers will likely have to wait for another landmark abortion ruling from the Supreme Court for clarity on the issue, as the Justice Department will request the court to step in.
The April 10-13, 2023, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,209 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.