Color Me a Democrat – September 2023

The Road to Misogyny

By Fraser Perkins —

In the 2022 Case Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the United States Supreme Court reversed Roe, allowing individual states to set abortion policy.  In April 2023, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk halted approval of mifepristone, a key drug in medical abortions which now account for over half of all abortions performed nationwide.

Former President Trump caused this erosion of abortion rights.  He not only appointed three judges to the Supreme Court, all of whom sided with the six justice majority in the Dobbs decision, but also appointed Judge Kacsmaryk to the Amarillo Division of the Northern District of Texas encompassing the Texas Panhandle.  This one two punch against abortion rights upended Roe v Wade, left wide swaths of the country without a single abortion provider, and provided a clear distinction, with a difference, between most Democrats and most Republicans.

The Dobbs decision has been well documented, but the narrative behind Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling banning mifepristone deserves equal consideration and consternation.  It was no accident that the mifepristone case, affecting the entire nation, landed in Amarillo. The Amarillo Division has only one presiding judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk; most cases filed in Amarillo wind up on Judge Kacsmaryk’s docket.  His views on abortion were also well known before his appointment.  Judge Kacsmaryk, depending on your viewpoint, either bulldozed through, or danced around four challenges before issuing his decision.

Standing. The lead plaintiff in the case, The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, has an office across the street from Judge Kacsmaryk’s courtroom.  The Alliance was well aware of the judge’s pro-life position on the abortion issue – it was no accident the Alliance set up an office in Amarillo.  It incorporated in August 2021 and filed suit in November 2021.  Despite a Texas office, its mailing address is Bristol, TN.  Its website doesn’t reveal much, no board members, funding, or officers.  It does list its values, the first of which is the sanctity of life defined as beginning with fertilization and ending with natural death.  The Alliance is represented in court by attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a right wing religious nonprofit based in Scottsdale, AZ.  The ADF website contains a request for donations on its home page, but little else.  It’s fair to ask if the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine has standing to file a case in Texas when its mailing address is in Tennessee and it lists no directors, funding, or officers.

Statute of Limitations.  The FDA approved mifepristone in 2000, yet the plaintiffs didn’t file suit until 2022.  A well established legal principle is that a plaintiff must file a case within a specified period of time.  For a suit against a federal agency the generally accepted time period is six years. It looks like the plaintiffs missed the cut-off date of 2006 by 16 years.

FDA Approval.  As mentioned, the FDA approved the drug in 2000.

Safety.  Mifepristone has an enviable safety record spanning over two decades with fewer serious side-effects than Tylenol.  A medical abortion is also far safer than pregnancy.  Safety is a nonissue.

The Dobbs Decision ignited and galvanized opposition nationwide and created wide spread anxiety within the Republican pooh-bah donor class.  Donald Trump has fingered Ron DeSantis as being too extreme on abortion restrictions, yet Donald Trump is the prime cause of overturning Roe, banning Mifepristone, and making full reproductive services unavailable in many states.  This latest dodge fits his predilection for hypocrisy:  he blames opponents for the very things he has done himself and attempts to play both sides of an issue.  It’s up to Democrats to hold him and his Republican competitors accountable, and blowup the Road to Misogyny.  We deserve better.

Please do two things:

  1. Elect Democrats.
  2. Send this to your friends who live in areas not represented by Democrats in Congress and at the state level.  We are fortunate to live in an area where all federal and state elected officials believe in protecting a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare.

Next month we’ll zero in on Donald Trump with “Killer Comet.”

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