Supreme Court to decide access on mifepristone for abortion | Image Credit: © Jim Glab - © Jim Glab - stock.adobe.com.
The Supreme Court has announced its decision to determine limits on the most common abortion medication used in the United States, marking its first abortion case since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022.
- The Supreme Court has taken up its first abortion case since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in 2022, signaling a significant legal development in abortion rights.
- The case revolves around mifepristone, a common abortion medication in the United States., facing restrictions such as reduced usage time and limitations on mail access.
- Mifepristone, utilized in over half of US abortions and approved by the FDA since 2000, is under scrutiny. Opponents of abortion successfully challenged the drug's use, leading to a victory and the potential reversal of access improvements made in 2016 and 2021.
- The overturn of Roe v. Wade has triggered various abortion restrictions across states, with 14 states banning abortion at all stages and 2 prohibiting it after cardiac activity detection.
- Health care providers, anticipating potential mifepristone restrictions, express readiness to shift to misoprostol, a less effective alternative.
The drug, mifepristone, is currently facing restrictions such as halting access through mail and reducing its allowed use from up to 10 weeks in pregnancy to up to 7 weeks. These restrictions would remain in place even in states where abortion is legal.
Mifepristone is used in over half of US abortions, with use reported in over 5 million people since 2000.Opponents of abortion filed a challenge against mifepristone in November of 2022, receiving a victory 6 months later. While the FDA’s approval of mifepristone would remain in place, changes made in 2016 and 2021 to improve access to the drug would be reversed.
Justices blocked the ruling from taking effect while the case played out. The justices will hear appeals from the Biden administration and New York-based Danco Laboratories, the manufacturer of mifepristone. The administration’s appeal discussed the FDA’s scientific judgment on mifepristone’s safety and efficacy since its approval in 2000.
Restrictions on abortion have been observed since the overturn in Roe v. Wade, with 14 states banning abortion at all stages of pregnancy and 2 others banning abortion after cardiac activity can be detected. Lawyers for anti-abortion groups have challenged the use of mifepristone and urged the Supreme Court to turn away the Democratic administration’s appeals.
Health care providers have stated they would switch to misoprostol, a somewhat less effective drug than mifepristone, if mifepristone access is restricted.In the spring of 2024, the Supreme Court will begin discussing this case, with a decision likely by June.
The Supreme Court will rule on limits on a commonly used abortion medication. AP News. December 13, 2023. Accessed December 13, 2023. https://apnews.com/article/supreme-court-abortion-medication-drug-mifepristone-f763b93ef632e1767fd696caec686c21