Why some protesters are dressed as kangaroos and clowns amid Texas hearing on abortion pill
Written by ABC Audio All Rights Reserved on March 18, 2023
(AMARILLO, Texas) — A ruling is expected to come down from a federal judge in Texas Wednesday that could see an abortion medication being taken off the market in the United States.
The lawsuit, filed by Alliance Defending Freedom – a Christian conservative legal advocacy group – has asked Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas to reverse the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone.
If the judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, there would be a nationwide injunction on mifepristone, affecting even states where the procedure is legal.
Another drug used in combination with mifepristone for abortions, called misoprostol, would still be available, but it’s not approved by the FDA to be used for abortions on its own.
According to a transcript of a closed-door meeting, Kacsmaryk told trial lawyers that he planned to wait until late Tuesday to make public the logistics of the hearing to avoid protests.
“This is not a gag order but just a request for courtesy given the death threats and harassing phone calls and voicemails that this division has received,” Kacsmaryk told attorneys in the case. “We want a fluid hearing with all parties being heard. I think less advertisement of this hearing is better.”
Organizers from the Women’s March said they intend to stage a “kangaroo court” outside the courthouse, where protestors will be dressed in costume to suggest the case is based entirely on fraudulent claims.
Kacsmaryk “says he doesn’t want a ‘circus-like’ atmosphere, all while behaving like a clown who treats our lives like a political game,” the organizers of the Women’s March wrote. “So, we will bring the circus to him. Come in your clown makeup, and we will show the world what the Federal Court is all about here in Amarillo, a kangaroo court!”
If Kacsmaryk rules in favor of ADF, mifepristone would, at least temporarily, be taken off the market. All states where abortion is legal would only be able to offer in-clinic procedures.
This means patients will not be able to access telehealth services to get abortion pills and clinics already experiencing a surge of patients from states where abortion is illegal could be even more inundated.
ABC News’ Anne Flaherty contributed to this report.
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