In an ongoing drug legal battle, the Supreme Court has upheld American women’s right to access widely available abortion pills.
The justices agreed to stay or suspend a lower court’s decision to impose restrictions on the availability of mifepristone while anti-abortion groups challenge the federal regulator’s approval.
Mifepristone, licensed in 2000, is used in combination with a second drug, misoprostol, which accounts for more than half of all drugs abortion In the U.S.
president joe biden Praise the high court for keeping the pills available while court battles continue.
“As a result of the Supreme Court stay, mifepristone remains available and approved for safe and effective use while we continue this fight in court,” Biden said in a statement.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher for women across America. I will continue to fight politically driven attacks on women’s health.
“But let’s be clear – the American people must continue to use their vote as their voice and elect a Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v Wade.”
His administration is seeking to defend mifepristone as Republican-led states have imposed more and more abortion bans and restrictions since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 law in June 2022. Roe v Wade The decision to legalize the procedure nationwide.
Opponents argue that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) illegally approved mifepristone and then removed key protections for what they called a dangerous drug.
What is mifepristone and why is it banned?
What has changed since the landmark abortion decision was overturned?
“Our cases that seek to put women’s health above politics continue to accelerate in lower courts,” said Eric Baptiste, an attorney with the conservative religious rights group Alliance Defending Freedom.
National Right to Life’s Carol Tobias said: “What the courts will be looking at is a drug that does not cure a disease or alleviate the symptoms of a disease.
“It was developed to take the life of an unborn baby, and there is always the potential to harm the mother.”
The FDA says mifepristone is safe and effective, has been used by millions of people for decades, and has extremely rare side effects.
“I continue to support the FDA’s evidence-based approval of mifepristone, and my administration will continue to defend the FDA’s independent expert authority to review, approve, and regulate a wide range of prescription drugs,” Mr. Biden said.
Jessica Ellsworth, an attorney for pill maker Danco Laboratories, said the Supreme Court ruling “preserves critical access to the medicines millions of patients depend on after causing “widespread confusion” in lower courts. way”.
Abortion rights groups praised the Supreme Court’s ruling, but noted that the case is still pending.
The Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the case, which means mifepristone could still be restricted or banned at a later stage.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
“It was the right decision and a huge relief,” said Joshua Shafstein, a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University and a former FDA official.
“Alternatives not only undermine access to reproductive health care, but also confuse drug regulation in the United States.”