US Supreme Court Briefly Restores Access to Mifepristone Abortion Pill

Demonstrators protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a Politico report released Monday. Whatever the outcome, the Politico report represents an extremely rare breach of the court’s secretive deliberation process, and on a case of surpassing importance. InternationalIndiaAfricaThe government clearance for key abortion drug mifepristone was suspended on April 7 in an unprecedented move that saw the US Food and Drug Administration’s 23-year-old approval trashed. Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the drug has become increasingly significant in the fight over abortion access.The US Supreme Court on Friday issued a temporary pause on a lower federal court ruling that would restrict access to the use of mifepristone, a key drug used in the majority of medication abortions.Justice Samuel Alito granted the US government’s request of a stay, and will maintain the drug’s approval through at least midnight Wednesday.The Friday ruling came in response to the US Department of Justice and the manufacturer of the medication requesting the high court to briefly allow full access to mifepristone or allow an emergency briefing before the bench brings its term to a close this summer.“If allowed to take effect, the lower courts’ orders would thwart [the US Food and Drug Administration] FDA’s scientific judgment and undermine widespread reliance in a health care system that assumes the availability of mifepristone as an alternative to more burdensome and invasive surgical abortions,” Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar told the high court in a filing. “Those harms would be felt throughout the Nation because mifepristone has lawful uses in every State — even those with restrictive abortion laws.”The justices were asked by lawyers with the Justice Department and the drug company to block the decision made in Texas to suspend the FDA’s approval for mifepristone. The twin requests to the Supreme Court followed a 2-1 ruling by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals late Wednesday that reinstated restrictions on how patients are able to obtain mifepristone and how late into their pregnancy it can be used. The changes were set to take effect at 1 a.m. on Saturday prior to the high court’s Friday determination.However the appeals court ruling also stated that the drug could remain on the market as the federal government’s appeal on the Texas decision moves through the legal system. Oral arguments on the appeal are scheduled to be held on May 17.AmericasUS Judge Blocks Federal Approval of Abortion Pill Mifepristone – Filing8 April, 02:08 GMTFollowing the Supreme Court decision to overturn the historic Roe v. Wade ruling, both the drug mifepristone and misoprostol were brought under examination in the ongoing push to implement severe restrictions on abortion access. Opponents of mifepristone in recent months argued the FDA failed to review scientific evidence and follow proper protocol since the drug gained its approval in 2000.


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