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Cohen Quoted in Article About Attempt to Rescind Abortion Drug

Professor David S. Cohen

February 24, 2023

David S. Cohen, professor of law at Drexel University’s Kline School of Law, was quoted in a Feb. 23 article about approval of the abortion drug mifepristone–formerly known as RU-486–being challenged in federal district court in Texas.

The article, “Why An Abortion Drug Approved 20 Years Ago Might Get Yanked From The Market,” describes how the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal advocacy group, is representing a group of organizations challenging the FDA’s approval of the drug, which occurred in 2000. The group is asking for mifepristone, which is currently approved for use during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, to be taken off the market immediately.

There’s a “good chance” the organizations could get what they want, the article says. “And if they do,” it continues, “the most commonly used form of abortion would no longer be available in the U.S., transforming the landscape of abortion access in ways that could be even more far-reaching than the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last summer.”

The article goes on to say that the plaintiffs have a much better chance of winning than they would normally because they filed their lawsuit in front of one of the most conservative judges in the country. Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee based in Amarillo, Texas, worked as a lawyer for a Christian conservative group before being confirmed in 2019. “Many experts think there’s a good chance he’ll rule in favor of the plaintiffs because of that background,” the story says.

Cohen explains that federal judges have a lot of freedom. “We assume they operate based on a certain set of rules, because that’s a more comforting way of thinking about how courts and judges operate in this world,” he says. “But they are human beings. Some of them are politically motivated. And the beauty of being a smart lawyer is, you can reason to any conclusion you want.”

Cohen’s scholarship explores the intersection of constitutional law and gender, emphasizing how the law impacts abortion provision, including violence against abortion providers, as well as sex segregation and masculinity.