Reproductive Freedom

Litigation on RU-486 Restrictions


In June, 2012 the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio appeared before the U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth District, arguing that a 2004 Ohio law restricting the use of mifepristone is unconstitutional. Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, is a medication that can terminate a pregnancy without subjecting the patient to surgery. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its use to terminate a pregnancy in 2000.

The ACLU of Ohio is co-counsel in this ongoing case, which is known as Planned Parenthood v. DeWine. The case has moved back and forth between lower court and appellate court several times in the last eight years.

The 2004 law bans “off-label” use of mifipristone. In practice this forces women to ingest three times more of the drug than is medically necessary and bans its use after an arbitrary date even though it could still be used safely and effectively.

The ACLU argues that the law takes medical decisions out of the hands of doctors and intrudes into the lives of families, unduly burdening them with surgery when a non-invasive medication is readily available.