Thursday 14 December 2023

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Mail-Order Abortion Case

 The Supreme Court on Wednesday announced that it will consider a case involving the availability of abortion pills, the court’s first major abortion case since overturning Roe vs. Wade last year.

The case deals with whether mifepristone, the most common form of medication abortion, can be prescribed through telemedicine and shipped to women through the mail.

The high court will hear two consolidated cases pitting the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a group of doctors and others who oppose abortion, against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Danco Laboratories, the maker of mifepristone.

A date for oral arguments has not yet been announced, but the court is expected to issue a ruling on the case next summer.

The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to consider the abortion pill case after a federal appeals court panel issued a ruling curbing access to mifepristone.

The case began when the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine filed a lawsuit claiming that the FDA’s original approval of mifepristone back in 2000 was unlawful.

The case worked its way up to the Fifth Circuit, which ruled in favor of the FDA’s mifepristone approval, but with a significant caveat — the court brought back restrictions on the abortion pill that were scrapped in 2016.

Before 2016, mifepristone could only be prescribed by a doctor and picked up in person, and patients had to visit a doctor three times to get the medication abortion.

If the Fifth Circuit’s ruling were to take effect, women would not be able to get a prescription for abortion pills through telemedicine or receive mifepristone through the mail.

The Justice Department intervened in the case early on, asking the Supreme Court to prevent any changes to mifepristone’s availability while the case is ongoing, which the high court did.

The court also turned down a request from the anti-abortion group to consider the merits of the FDA’s original mifepristone approval, which means the court is expected to focus only on whether the extra restrictions should remain in place.


The anti-abortion group is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom.

Medication abortions make up more than half of all abortions in the U.S., according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion.

In 2020, there were more than 620,000 abortions across 47 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Guttmacher Institute puts the national total significantly higher at more than 930,000 abortions for 2020.

Only half of Americans want abortion to be legal after 15 weeks, which is around the beginning of the second trimester, according to a June Associated Press poll.

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