Supreme Court Set To Hear Abortion Pill Case

( – The US Supreme Court has taken up the issue of abortion again. On Tuesday, March 26, multiple right-wing groups will present an important case regarding a birth control pill. This is the first time abortion issues are back in the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade overturning in 2022.

The current case revolves around mifepristone, a drug commonly used in medication abortions in the US. The right-wing groups presenting the case want to undo recent FDA actions, which have increased the drug’s accessibility. If they succeed, mifepristone will become much harder to obtain across the US.

The Court’s decision would affect not only the states with strict abortion rules already in place, but also states with abortion protections. The relaxation of mifepristone restrictions by FDA has somewhat lessened the blow of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, but reimposing them would make accessing safe abortion extremely difficult.

Over a dozen states have implemented abortion bans since 2022, leading to legal and medical confusion. Numerous women reported being denied medically necessary abortions, while abortion clinics in states where it’s allowed faced overwhelming demand from patients fleeing banned states. In 2023, over 1 million abortions were performed in the US, a record high.

Medication abortions by pills have been crucial in mitigating the bans’ effects. Telehealth medication abortions, permitted during the pandemic, and shield laws in some states made it easy for those who needed it. Because of the flexible accessibility, abortion still remained in the crosshairs by pro-life groups.

A group called Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine challenged the FDA’s approval of mifepristone in 2000, arguing safety concerns. While a federal judge initially ruled in their favor, an appeals court later narrowed the decision, focusing on recent FDA measures expanding mifepristone access.

The upcoming arguments are expected to center on these measures. Despite the court’s decision, Americans can still order mifepristone online for self-managed abortions.

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