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US Supreme Court preserves women’s access to abortion pill

The Supreme Court has maintained women’s access in the US to an abortion pill that is widely used.

The Justices agreed to pause or stay a lower-court decision that imposed restrictions on the availability mifepristone, during a challenge brought by antiabortion groups against its federal regulatory approval.

Mifepristone was first licensed in 2000. It is combined with misoprostol and accounts for over half of all abortions in the US.

The President Joe Biden has praised the High Court for keeping the pills available as the court battle continues.


In a press release, Mr Biden stated that “as a result the Supreme Court’s stay of proceedings, mifepristone is available and approved to be used safely and effectively while we continue our fight in the courtroom.”

The stakes for women in America could not be higher. I will continue to combat political attacks on women’s healthcare.

“But let’s not be confused – the American public must continue to use its vote as a voice and elect a Congress that will pass a bill restoring the Roe v Wade protections.”

The administration of President Trump is defending mifepristone against the mounting restrictions and bans on abortion imposed by Republican states. This comes after the Supreme Court, in June 2022, overturned the Roe v Wade landmark decision from 1973 that legalised the procedure in all 50 states.

Opponents claim that the Federal Drug Agency approved mifepristone illegally and then removed important safeguards for what they call a dangerous medication.

Read More: Why could mifepristone be banned?

Since the landmark abortion case was overturned, what has changed?

Erik Baptist, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative religious rights organization said: “Our case to place women’s health before politics continues in lower courts on a expedited basis.”

Carol Tobias, of National Right to Life, said: “What courts will see is that a drug does not cure or relieve the symptoms of disease.

It was designed to kill an unborn baby and has the potential to harm a mother.

Mifepristone has been used by millions for decades without adverse effects.

Mr Biden said, “I will continue to support FDA’s independent expert authority in reviewing, approving and regulating a wide variety of prescription drugs.”

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Why would the US ban abortion pills?

Jessica Ellsworth is a lawyer representing Danco Laboratories, the manufacturer of the pills. She said that the Supreme Court decision “preserves vital access to a medication relied upon by millions” after lower courts caused “widespread confusion.”

Abortion rights groups applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling, but pointed out that the case is still ongoing.

The Supreme Court has not ruled on the merits, meaning that the mifepristone can still be banned or restricted at a future date.

Nancy Northup, of the Centre for Reproductive Rights, said that we are not yet out of the woods.

Joshua Sharfstein is a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University, and former FDA official. He said: “It was the right decision. It’s a big relief.”

The alternative would not only have undermined the access to reproductive healthcare, but it would also have put drug regulation in disarray in the United States.


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