Supreme Court hands win to abortion pill mifepristone

Mifepristone will remain on the market under preexisting conditions.

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of preserving access to the abortion pill mifepristone by striking down a legal challenge brought forth by a group of doctors who lacked legal standing to challenge the FDA’s regulation of the medication.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh authored the unanimous opinion, stating that the plaintiffs, who were pro-life and opposed to elective abortion, lacked standing to challenge the FDA’s regulation of mifepristone as they did not prescribe or use the medication.


Driving the news: Mifepristone is the first pill taken in a two-drug regimen for medication abortion, which is the most common method of abortion in the country. 

  • The Supreme Court’s ruling means that the medication will remain available under preexisting conditions, including allowing women to receive it by mail and without any in-person dispensation requirement.
  • “Plaintiffs are pro-life, oppose elective abortion, and have sincere legal, moral, ideological, and policy objections to mifepristone being prescribed and used by others,” Kavanaugh wrote in the ruling. “Because plaintiffs do not prescribe or use mifepristone, plaintiffs are unregulated parties who seek to challenge FDA’s regulation of others.”
  • The case’s lead plaintiff, the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, argued against the regulations, while the Biden administration defended the FDA’s process in court. 
  • The court concluded that the pill’s challengers failed to demonstrate that FDA’s relaxed regulatory requirements would cause them to suffer an injury, and recommended addressing concerns through the regulatory or legislative processes.

What they’re saying: President Joe Biden said the Supreme Court’s decision does not change the fact that the fight for reproductive freedom continues. 

  • “Women are being turned away from emergency rooms, or forced to go to court to plead for care that their doctor recommended or to travel hundreds of miles for care,” Biden said. “Doctors and nurses are being threatened with jail time, including life in prison, for providing the health care they have been trained to provide. And contraception and IVF are under attack.”
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