Media Contact

Ari Schechter,

April 12, 2023

CONCORD, N.H. - The ACLU of New Hampshire today sent a letter to Governor Chris Sununu and Attorney General John Formella asking them to move to intervene in Washington v. FDA and seek to give Granite Staters court protections to access safe and effective abortion medication that are afforded to states involved in the case. 

“We call on Governor Sununu and Attorney General Formella to act decisively and make clear that the Granite State will not stand by as access to safe, effective, and essential medication hangs in the balance,” said Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire. “We urge Governor Sununu to put action behind his stated concern and move to intervene in the Washington lawsuit, which would seek to allow Granite Staters to receive the same court protections as the states currently involved in the lawsuit. The ACLU has long fought to expand access to medication abortion care, and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal until everyone can access the safe and essential reproductive health care they need.”

On April 7, 2023, a federal district court in Texas issued a ruling blocking the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, a medication used in half of the abortions in the United States. The decision, which was delayed from going into effect for seven days, comes in a case brought by extreme anti-abortion groups as part of a larger campaign to entirely ban abortion nationwide. The U.S. government has already appealed the decision to the 5th Circuit.

At the same time, a federal judge in Washington prohibited the FDA from “altering the status quo and rights as it relates to the availability of Mifepristone,” but that order only applies to the 17 states and District of Columbia involved in that litigation. New Hampshire is not one of the 18 plaintiffs, and so it is without the protections afforded by that order. 

Given that Governor Sununu said Monday that, “it is extremely concerning that an FDA-approved drug that has been used for decades can be taken off the market unilaterally by one judge … issues surrounding abortion should be left to the states and not an unelected judge,” the ACLU of New Hampshire asks Governor Sununu to take all steps to protect access to mifepristone. 

Abortion, including medication abortion, remains safe and legal in New Hampshire up to 24 weeks under current state law.