Supreme Court allows full access to abortion pill

abortion pill SCOTUS ruling (left to right) Rev. Pat Mahoney, Peggy Nienaber of Faith and Liberty, and Mark Lee Dickson of Right to Life East Texas pray in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on April 21, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Organized by The Stanton Public Policy Center/Purple Sash Revolution, the small group of demonstrators called on the Supreme Court to affirm Federal District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling that suspends the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone. | Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

An abortion-inducing drug that is used to kill preborn children up to 10 weeks’ gestation will stay on the market as a legal battle over the pill continues following a decision Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court’s 7-2 ruling blocks a lower court order that would have taken the drug mifepristone off the market as the court considers a lawsuit over whether the drug was validly approved. Four conservative justices joined the court’s three liberal justices in the ruling. Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito dissented.

President Joe Biden praised the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I continue to stand by FDA’s evidence-based approval of mifepristone, and my administration will continue to defend FDA’s independent, expert authority to review, approve, and regulate a wide range of prescription drugs,” Biden said in a statement.

The lawsuit was filed by the pro-life Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, which is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom in court.

ADF Senior Counsel Erik Baptist said in a statement that the court’s decision follows common practice.

“As is common practice, the Supreme Court has decided to maintain the status quo that existed prior to our lawsuit while our challenge to the FDA’s illegal approval of chemical abortion drugs and its removal of critical safeguards for those drugs moves forward,” Baptist said.

“Our case seeking to put women’s health above politics continues on an expedited basis in the lower courts,” Baptist continued. “The FDA must answer for the damage it has caused to the health of countless women and girls and the rule of law by failing to study how dangerous the chemical abortion drug regimen is and unlawfully removing every meaningful safeguard, even allowing for mail-order abortions. We look forward to a final outcome in this case that will hold the FDA accountable.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone in 2000, but regulations have fluctuated since its approval. The current rules allow a person to receive the drug in person or through the mail and does not require the woman to be seen by a doctor in person before receiving it.

Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine filed a lawsuit, which argues that the original FDA approval and its subsequent regulatory changes did not follow legally required protocol. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the original approval of the drug and subsequent regulatory changes to increase access to the drug unlawful.

The lawsuit argues that the FDA’s failure to follow protocol has caused many safety and health concerns to go unaddressed. This includes certain questions about the safety of the drug as well as safeguards that could prevent forced abortions.

Numerous pro-life and Catholic organizations have voiced their support for the lawsuit.

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