The Supreme Court on Friday upheld full access to a key drug taken by millions of women for early termination of pregnancy. This is last year’s Roe v. This is the first major abortion-related decision since Wade overturned the constitutional guarantee of abortion rights.
A judge suspended a lower court ruling in favor of anti-abortion groups. The FDA said it was wrong to make the drug mifepristone more widely available. Legal battles will continue over whether to permanently reopen the restrictions and whether the FDA properly approved the drug’s use more than 20 years ago.
As is often the case with emergency measures, the majority did not explain why they overruled lower courts’ rulings. Noted in the only objection, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. The judge said he would not grant the Biden administration’s request to suspend a decision by a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Thomas did not explain his reasoning. Alito said the administration and the public would not be harmed by agreeing with a lower court that wanted to reinstate restrictions imposed by the FDA in recent years.
Alito wrote, “It would merely restore the position that existed (and was defended by the government) under three presidential administrations from 2000 to 2016.” About mifepristone.
Next month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will review the merits of a case brought by an anti-abortion group opposing the FDA’s regulation of mifepristone. This review will be conducted by a panel of three judges separate from those who issued the initial decision. The qualification decision will almost certainly be appealed to the Supreme Court regardless of the outcome. But until then, the judge’s Friday order said the status quo would remain in place. Mifepristone is available nationwide under current FDA regulations.
President Biden was quick to praise the court’s action. “I will continue to support the FDA’s evidence-based approval of mifepristone, and the administration will continue to defend the FDA’s independent and professional authority to review, approve, and regulate a range of prescribed drugs.” he said in a statement. “The risk to women across America could not be greater. I will continue to fight against the political attacks on women’s health. But let’s be clear. The American people must continue to use their vote as a voice and a Must elect a Congress that will pass laws restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade.
Friday’s court order was the latest development in a swift and sometimes confusing legal battle over mifepristone, which is used as part of a two-drug regimen in more than half of abortion procedures in the United States. A second drug, misoprostol, may also be used alone to end an early pregnancy, but the two drugs may be used together to reduce cramping and bleeding.
Medications for abortion have grown in importance as states have restricted or outlawed abortion following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision by the Supreme Court in June.