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Federal judge's decision on mifepristone could have ripple effect in Colorado

Mifepristone is one of the pills in the standard two-drug regimen for a medication abortion.

DENVER — The fate of the abortion pill and its use nationwide is in the hands of one judge in Texas. Last week, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk heard arguments about whether the Food and Drug Administration's approval of mifepristone should be allowed.

Mifepristone is one of the pills in the standard two-drug regimen for a medication abortion. The FDA first approved it 23 years ago, and more than 5 million people have used it since.

The judge could order the FDA to temporarily withdraw its authorization of the drug, effectively banning its use nationwide. 

"For us advocates, we know that our community is depending on us to protect them in this moment," Aurea Bolaños Perea, Strategic Communications Director for the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), said. 

COLOR is not an abortion fund. The group advocates for choice. 

"In our poll last year, the Colorado Latina Policy Agenda, over 68% of Latinos across political ideologies, across gender, age, religion affiliation, believe that abortion should be protected and that politicians shouldn't tell us what to do with our bodies," Bolaños Perea said.

The federal judge is expected to make a decision soon on whether mifepristone will continue to be accessible. It is a move that could further hinder abortion access throughout the country. Bolaños Perea said if the judge pulls the medication, it could have a ripple effect here in Colorado. 

Bolaños Perea said after the Dobbs decision, "we saw an increase of over 500% of out-of-state patients coming to Colorado for care."

"So Colorado will see not only an increase of patients out of state and also from in state," she said. 

If there is a ban, Planned Parenthood says that while the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol is often used for medication abortions, misoprostol by itself is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy.

Wyoming is not waiting for a judge's decision. On Friday, Gov. Mark Gordon signed a bill banning the abortion pill in the state. It's the first law of its kind in the country.

"How many times is it going to take for us to convince the people in power, that we deserve -- anybody deserves -- the right to make the best decision for themselves," Bolaños Perea said. "We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best." 

Kacsmaryk said he will issue his decision as soon as possible.


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