The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday upheld access to the abortion drug mifepristone, but a lawsuit was filed in lower courts challenging the drug’s use.
The High Court granted an urgent request from the Biden administration and its drug manufacturer, Danko Laboratories, on Friday night to issue a brief to make the drug accessible to women.The ruling was announced earlier this month. Suspends a preliminary injunction by a federal judge in Texas that ordered restrictions on abortion drugs.
Two justices of the nine-member court, conservatives Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, opposed the decision.
Court will approve Biden administration’s request — keep drugs available while administration challenges lower court ruling — or allow limited access to drugs to be effective I set a deadline for Friday midnight.
The controversial lower court ruling led a coalition of anti-abortion groups and physicians to believe that the US drug regulatory agency, the Food and Drug Administration, improperly approved mifepristone in 2000 and underestimated its risks. It was served on April 7 by a federal judge in Texas after it argued that it did not. and benefits.
Rulings that severely restricted drug availability were appealed, and the Court of Appeals suspended some of the rulings that would void FDA approval, but left restrictions on drug availability intact.
The lawsuit is expected to be further appealed and may ultimately reach the Supreme Court. Access to mifepristone will likely last until at least next year, as appeals unfold due to Friday’s High Court ruling.
Used in half of all abortions in the United States
Mifepristone is used in about half of all abortions nationwide. It has been used by as many as 5 million women since it was first approved in 2000, and major medical organizations say it has a strong safety record. This drug is also commonly used to help manage miscarriage.
Women can now use the drug to terminate pregnancies in the first 10 weeks without surgery. You can get it by mail without seeing a doctor in person.
When the lower court’s ruling restricting access to drugs was handed down, President Joe Biden said in a statement that the judge replaced the judgment of the FDA, the specialized agency responsible for approving drugs, with his own. said.
Biden said that if the ruling becomes effective, “virtually there will be no FDA-approved prescriptions that are safe from this kind of political and ideological attack.”
Battle following Roe v. Wade reversal
The ruling judge, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kaksmalik, was appointed by former President Donald Trump.
The battle over mifepristone came after a conservative majority in the Supreme Court last year overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. It has ruled that it is now up to individual states to decide whether to do so.
The FDA recently made mifepristone easier to use. For example, in 2016 it was approved for use in 7th to 10th weeks of pregnancy, and in 2021 it was approved for mail-in distribution in states that allow access.
Some information in this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.
https://www.voanews.com/a/us-supreme-court-upholds-abortion-pill-access-for-now/7061592.html U.S. Supreme Court upholds access to abortion pills for now