To: Interested Parties

From: Caroline Ciccone, President of Accountable.US

RE: What You Need to Know About the Sham Group and the Right Wing Movement Working to Take Away Reproductive Freedoms at the Supreme Court This Week 

Date: March 25, 2024

On Tuesday, March 26, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the biggest case to take away reproductive freedoms since the Court overturned Roe v. Wade. In FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM), the Court could eliminate access to mifepristone, a safe and effective medical abortion pill the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved in 2000. 

This case is the culmination of an effort by various right wing groups laser-focused on eliminating access to abortion. If the Supreme Court rules in their favor, it would have far-reaching consequences even beyond reproductive freedom.

Here is what you need to know about the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM) and its ties to the larger extreme conservative movement.

1. This case has arrived at the Supreme Court under dubious circumstances, brought by a sham group of activists with questionable standing, and judge-shopped to one of the most extreme District Court judges in the United States.

  • This case originated in Texas, but plaintiff Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM) appears to actually be a Tennessee-based organization that only incorporated in Texas after Roe was overturned and mere months before bringing the mifepristone challenge.
  • AHM seems to have incorporated in Texas in order to “judge-shop” this case, intentionally filing the suit in a federal court district where reliably conservative Texas District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk – with a long history of conservative activism – is the only judge, all but guaranteeing a favorable ruling.
  • At the appellate level, one 5th Circuit judge who “supported rolling back decisions made by the Food and Drug Administration to loosen restrictions” on mifepristone is married to a woman who used to work on behalf of ADF.
  • Judge shopping in Kacsmaryk’s district and elsewhere has become so pervasive that the Judicial Conference recently issued guidance to try and stop the abuse.

2. Right wing extremists Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Leonard Leo are both linked to this case and the groups that are pushing it.

3. The consequences of a negative ruling would not only further restrict reproductive freedom, but would undercut FDA regulatory authority, the global gold-standard that pharmaceutical companies rely on to bring safe and effective medicine to market.

  • The pharmaceutical industry has told the Supreme Court and the public that “giving individual federal judges the power to cast aside the agency’s scientific health and safety findings would cause chaos within the sector.”
  • There is concern within the industry that “a ruling against the government could stifle innovation by deterring investors in an industry that relies on billions of dollars in upfront research and development in order to bring drugs to market.”

Fundamentally, this case has been brought by right wing activists, judge-shopped to their preferred court under dubious circumstances, and likely does not involve any actual harm to the plaintiffs involved. A Supreme Court ruling that disrupts the lives of millions of American women and brings chaos to the market for lifesaving drugs based on a sham court case would be an appalling breach of the first rule of medicine: do no harm.

Access this memo online here.

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