Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Abortion Pill

Matthew Vadum
By Matthew Vadum
December 13, 2023Judiciary

The Supreme Court agreed on Dec. 13 to hear the Biden administration’s defense of regulatory moves related to mifepristone, a pill used for abortions.

Although a lower court had blocked the sale of mifepristone after finding that the process involved in approving the drug was legally flawed, the Supreme Court countermanded that order in April, allowing sales to continue.

A medication abortion generally involves the use of mifepristone, which blocks progesterone, a hormone, and misoprostol, which induces contractions. Misoprostol is not an issue in the current litigation.

Many lawsuits have followed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2022 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and found there was no right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution. The ruling returned the regulation of abortion to the states.

The decision came in unsigned orders released by the court. No justices dissented. The court did not explain its decision. At least four of the nine justices have to vote to grant a petition for it to move forward to the oral argument stage.

The court agreed to hear the cases of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM) and Danco Laboratories LLC v. AHM, but turned down another petition in AHM v. FDA.

Danco Laboratories makes the abortion pill that is also known as Mifeprex and RU-486.

A federal district judge in April found the FDA was wrong to approve mifepristone for public use in 2000 and that the FDA had stonewalled opponents of the drug for years. The judge also found that the agency had improperly lifted restrictions related to accessing the drug.

In 2016, the agency changed the drug’s label, extending the cutoff for its use from 49 days of gestation to the 70-day mark. At the same time, the agency allowed the drug to be prescribed by nondoctors and with only one in-person visit, and halted the requirement that prescribers report nonfatal adverse events related to the drug.

In 2019, the FDA approved a generic version of the drug. In 2021, the agency lifted a restriction and allowed patients to receive the drug by mail instead of having to pick it up in person from a specially certified health care provider.

The FDA and Danco asked the Supreme Court to review the 2016 and 2021 decisions.

This is a developing story. This article will be updated.

From The Epoch Times

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