Supreme Court to Review Mifepristone Access in Landmark Abortion Case

January 29, 2024

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on March 26 about access to the abortion medication mifepristone. This case marks the first significant challenge to abortion limits before the Supreme Court since it overturned federal abortion rights in June 2022. The outcome of this lawsuit could significantly impact the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority.

The FDA initially approved mifepristone in 2000 for use within the first seven weeks of pregnancy and later extended its approval to 10 weeks in 2016. The Biden administration, in 2021, eliminated the requirement for the pill to be taken in person with a healthcare provider, enabling mail-order prescriptions.

However, an appeals court upheld the FDA’s approval of mifepristone but invalidated the provision for mail-order distribution. The lawsuit against the FDA’s approval and its expanded access was brought by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a Christian-based medical organization, in a Texas federal court. Reproductive rights advocates maintain that mifepristone is safe, citing over two decades of usage. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights group, mifepristone is used in about half of all abortions in the U.S.

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[Source: STAT, January 29th, 2024]

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