While a lawsuit is ongoing, the Supreme Court will decide whether women in the United States face restrictions on obtaining a drug used to perform the most common form of abortion. On Wednesday, the justices will likely issue an order in a case from Texas where abortion opponents want to reverse FDA approval of Mifepristone. The FDA approved the drug in 2000. Since then, conditions have been relaxed, such as making it available via mail to states that permit access.
Biden’s administration and Danco Laboratories, a New York-based company that makes the drug, asked the nation’s top court to reject any limits on using Mifepristone imposed by lower courts. This is true, at least until the legal case has been heard.
The Biden administration and Danco Laboratories, the drug maker, want the nation’s highest court to reject limits on Mifepristone’s use imposed by lower courts. At least until the legal case goes through the courts, according to the justice’s rule, women could be required to take higher doses of the drug that the FDA considers necessary.
Alliance Defending Freedom represents anti-abortion medical groups and doctors in a lawsuit against the drug. The group defends the rulings by calling on the Supreme Court for the restrictions to take effect immediately. The legal battle over abortion is less than a month after conservative justices overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing more than 12 states to ban abortion outright.
Mifepristone is one of two drugs typically used for medication abortions. Abortion opponents filed a lawsuit in Amarillo, Texas, in November. After a federal court ruled on April 7, a federal judge filed a legal challenge that quickly reached the Supreme Court.
A federal appeals Court modified the ruling less than a week after making the original decision. The appeals court ruled that Mifepristone cannot be sent or dispensed as a generic drug and that patients seeking it must complete at least three visits to a doctor. Mifepristone will still be available, but only with certain restrictions, while the case is ongoing.
In a court document, GenBioPro Inc. of Las Vegas wrote that the generic version makes up two-thirds of the U.S. supply. This underscored the dangers of allowing restrictions to take effect. The court also stated that the drug’s approval should be limited to seven weeks for the time being, despite the FDA’s endorsement of its use of up to 10 weeks.
A federal judge in Washington ordered that the FDA preserve access to Mifepristone in 17 Democratic-led States, and the District of Columbia pointed a separate suit. The Biden administration said the rulings conflict and create a problematic situation for the FDA.
Justice Samuel Alito issued an order last Friday putting the restrictions on hold until Wednesday. This was to allow the court to review the emergency appeal. The Democratic administration and Danco can fall back on a second argument if the justices don’t want to stop the ruling for the time being. They will ask the court to hear ideas, decide the case and decide by early summer if the court is not inclined to block it.
Rarely does the court take such a step without at least one appellate court having thoroughly examined all legal issues—the 5th U.S. The New Orleans Circuit Court of Appeals has already ordered an accelerated hearing schedule, with arguments scheduled for May 17; since 2000, the FDA has approved the use of Mifepristone in medication abortions. Since 2000, over 5 million women have used the drug and misoprostol to induce abortions.