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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Lawless Decision Further Undermines Abortion Access

Texas Federal District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk at the Senate Judiciary Committee. On April 7, Kacsmaryk blocked the approval of Mifepristone, a common abortion medication. (Associated Press)

A shameful ruling by a shameless judge has imperiled abortion access across the country. Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Federal District Court judge in Texas, blocked the approval of Mifepristone, one of the most common abortion medications, on April 7. 

People with uteruses have safely used Mifepristone for 23 years and the ruling marks the first time a court has suspended a drug with long-term approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Indeed, the American Medical Association, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists all wrote legal briefs in support of Mifepristone.

While inexplicable on the merits, the ruling could perhaps be explained by the background of Judge Kacsmaryk, a conservative judge appointed by former President Donald Trump. 

Kacsmaryk has a long history of conservative activism, having served as the deputy legal counsel for the right-wing Liberty First Institute. There, Kacsmaryk fought to erode protections for LGBTQ+ people in housing and employment. He even likened the Equality Act, which sought to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination, to an “autonomous blob of Silly Putty.”

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Notably, Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling on Mifepristone bears disturbing echoes of his partisan past. Kacsmaryk refers derisively to doctors who perform abortions as “abortionists.” He labels fetuses as “unborn children.” The use of such overtly prejudiced language is well beneath what is expected of a federal judge and further reveals the brazen nature of the decision. 

At its core, the judiciary should be a non-partisan institution which serves as a check on the executive and legislative branches of government. The power of the judiciary is thus derived from its credibility as an institution. When judges act like politicians in robes, such faith in the law is shaken, and the American people bear the consequences.

By Zachary S. Pan

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    Antonio CapellaApr 13, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    Future New York Times opinion piece writer here.