Supreme Court upholds access to abortion pills

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday upheld women’s access to a the drug used in the most common method of abortionrejecting the lower court’s restrictions on proceeding with the trial.

The courts have accepted emergency requests from the Biden administration and New York-based Danko Laboratories, the maker of the drug mifepristone. They are appealing a lower court ruling that overturned the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone.

The drug has been approved for use in the US since 2000 and has been used by more than 5 million people. Mifepristone, along with a second drug, misoprostol, is used in more than half of all abortions in the US.

Friday’s court action will almost certainly leave the availability of mifepristone unchanged until at least next year as appeals continue, including a possible appeal to the Supreme Court. The case’s next stop is at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which scheduled arguments in the case on May 17.

Two of the nine justices—Samuel Alito, who authored last year’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and Clarence Thomas—voted in favor. limitations to take effect, and Alito issued a four-page diss. No other judge commented on the court’s one-item order, and the court did not release full details of the votes.

President Joe Biden praised the Supreme Court for upholding mifepristone while the court battle continues.

“The percentage of women across America could not be higher. I will continue to fight back against political attacks on women’s health. But let’s be clear that the American people must use their voice as their voice and elect a Congress that will pass legislation to restore protections for women.” Roe v. Wade,” Biden said in a statement.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents abortion opponents challenging the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, dismissed the court action.

“As is common practice, the Supreme Court has decided to maintain the status quo that existed before our lawsuit while our challenge proceeds to the FDA’s illegal approval of abortion pills and the removal of important safeguards for these drugs,” he said. ADF attorney Eric. Baptiste said in a statement.

Courts have weighed in on the evidence that allowing restrictions contained in lower court decisions would seriously impede access to mifepristone.

The Supreme Court initially said it would decide by Wednesday whether the restrictions should go into effect while the case is pending. The one-judge order signed by Alito on Wednesday gave the justices two additional days without comment.

The problem with mifepristone is the first abortion arguments to reach the highest court of the country since then most conservatives defeated Roe Wade 10 months ago and allowed more than a dozen states to ban abortion entirely.

In his majority opinion last June, Alito said one of the reasons to overturn Roe was to remove the federal courts from the fight over abortion. “It’s time to follow the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” he wrote.

But even with their victory in court, opponents of abortion returned to federal court with a new target: medication abortions, which account for more than half of all abortions in the United States.

Women who want to end their pregnancy in the first 10 weeks without an invasive surgical abortion can take mifepristone along with misoprostol. The FDA has eased the terms of mifepristone’s use over the years, including allowing it to be sent by mail in states that allow access.

Abortion opponents filed a lawsuit in Texas in November, arguing that the original FDA approval for mifepristone 23 years ago and subsequent changes were erroneous.

They received their verdict on April 7 U.S. District Judge Matthew Kaksmarik, the appointment of former President Donald Trump, the revocation of FDA approval for mifepristone. The judge gave the Biden administration and Danko Laboratories a week to appeal and uphold the ruling.

In response to the instant appeal, two other Trump attorneys in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said The original FDA approval remains pending. But Judges Andrew Oldham and Kurt Engelhardt said most of Kaksmarik’s remaining sentence could take effect while the case moves through the federal courts.

Their ruling could invalidate changes made by the FDA since 2016, including seven to 10 weeks of pregnancy, when mifepristone can be safely used. The court also banned the drug from being mailed or distributed as a generic drug, and patients seeking it would have to see a doctor three times. Women may also be required to take larger amounts of the drug than the FDA requires.

Administration and Danko They said there would be chaos if those restrictions were to go into effect while the case was still pending. Perhaps adding to the confusion, a federal judge in Washington has ordered the FDA to maintain access to mifepristone under current regulations in 17 Democratic states and the District of Columbia, which filed a separate lawsuit.

The Biden administration said the rulings are contradictory and create an unfavorable situation for the FDA.

Alito questioned the rationale for the resulting chaos, saying the administration “has not removed suspicions that it would even obey an improper order in these circumstances.”

And a new legal stain threatened even more problems. GenBioPro, which makes a generic version of mifepristone, filed a lawsuit Wednesday to prevent the FDA from removing its drug from the market unless the Supreme Court intervenes.

The Supreme Court was only asked to stay the lower court’s decisions pending the conclusion of the legal case.

The appeals court has expedited its review, but there is no timetable for a ruling.

Any appeal to the Supreme Court will be made within three months of the judgment, but with no time limit for the judges to consider the case.

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