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US Supreme Court Upholds Access to Abortion Pill Mifepristone

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The United States Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit challenging the FDA’s regulation of the abortion pill mifepristone. The ruling ensures that the drug can continue to be mailed to patients without an in-person doctor visit. This decision marks a significant defeat for the anti-abortion movement following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the unanimous opinion, stating that the plaintiffs, including anti-abortion doctors and groups, lacked the standing to sue. He emphasised that “a plaintiff’s desire to make a drug less available for others does not establish standing to sue.” The ruling suggests that future challenges to mifepristone might also struggle to prove standing.

Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed satisfaction with the ruling, stating it “ensures that mifepristone remains available for women across the country.” Danco Laboratories, a manufacturer of mifepristone, also welcomed the decision, highlighting its importance in maintaining the stability of the FDA’s drug approval process.

The challenge to mifepristone began with anti-abortion doctors and medical organisations claiming the drug was unsafe. Mainstream medical groups refuted these claims. Initially, a Texas federal judge sided with the anti-abortion groups, but higher courts reversed that decision, maintaining the drug’s availability.

Anti-abortion groups have vowed to continue their efforts, and some states, like Missouri, Kansas, and Idaho, have ongoing legal disputes regarding the FDA’s approval of mifepristone.

According to BBC, medication abortions, which include mifepristone, now account for nearly two-thirds of all abortions in the U.S. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, access to abortion pills remains illegal in states that have banned abortion.

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the FDA’s regulation of mifepristone preserves access to the abortion pill but leaves open the possibility of future legal battles.

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