The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Wednesday to hear an important case regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) removal of important safety regulations on chemical abortion drugs.
The court will hear arguments over whether the FDA illegally lowered safety standards around mifepristone – the first of two drugs commonly used in a “chemical abortion.”
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) originally filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine with three other medical organizations and four doctors against the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. ADF filed the lawsuit in November 2022.
As a result of the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued a preliminary injunction blocking the FDA’s approval of mifepristone entirely, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit narrowed that order in a 96-page ruling in August 2023.
The Fifth Circuit said the organization’s challenge of the FDA’s 2000 Approval was likely barred by the statute of limitations. However, the Fifth Circuit agreed that the FDA must restore critical safeguards on the abortion pill, which it had begun rolling back in 2016, including:
- A requirement that abortion pills be prescribed and dispensed in-person in a health clinic setting, (i.e., no mail-order abortion pills);
- A limit for chemical abortion drugs to be used by seven weeks gestation;
- And a stipulation mandating the reporting of non-fatal adverse effects of the pill.
After the Fifth Circuit’s ruling, the Biden administration appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will now consider the case.
As National Review notes, “If upheld, the 5th Circuit’s decision would prohibit telemedicine prescriptions and the sending of mifepristone by mail — which would seriously hinder the interstate exchange of abortion pills, dealing a major blow to pro-choice groups.”
No changes to the FDA’s policies have yet been implemented as a result of the Fifth Circuit’s ruling; the U.S. Supreme Court has put any policy changes on ice while the case plays out in the court system.
“Every court so far has agreed that the FDA acted unlawfully in removing common-sense safeguards for women and authorizing dangerous mail-order abortions. We urge the Supreme Court to do the same,” said ADF Senior Counsel Erin Hawley, adding,
The FDA has harmed the health of women and undermined the rule of law by illegally removing every meaningful safeguard from the chemical abortion drug regimen.
Like any federal agency, the FDA must rationally explain its decisions. Yet its removal of common-sense safeguards – like a doctor’s visit before women are prescribed chemical abortion drugs – does not reflect scientific judgment but rather a politically driven decision to push a dangerous drug regimen.
Over half (54%) of all abortions are now done via chemical abortion drugs.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to schedule the case for oral argument in the coming months, with a final decision expected by the end of June.
Please pray for the Supreme Court justices as they consider this case, and for all expectant mothers who are considering aborting their children.
To speak with a family help specialist or request resources, please call us at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and want to learn more about your options, visit My Choice Network.
Some women, after taking the first abortion pill (mifepristone) come to regret their decision. Thankfully, there is a way to reverse the pill’s effects if prompt action is taken.
To learn more about the abortion pill reversal protocol, visit abortionpillreversal.com or call 1-877-558-0333 to be connected with a medical professional who can guide callers through the process of reversing the pill’s effects.
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