SCOTUS to hear argument limiting/banning abortion pill

Tuesday, March 26th, US Supreme Court to hear oral arguments to limit or ban the abortion pill mifepristone

“The same U.S. Supreme Court that overturned the constitutional right to an abortion will hear oral arguments Tuesday over access to mifepristone, a pharmaceutical used in both medication abortion and miscarriage care.

The nine justices will then decide whether to leave access to the drug intact or require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to revert prescribing instructions to what were in place before 2016.

The court decision will affect the entire country, including states that have sought to shore up access to reproductive rights following the Dobbs ruling less than two years ago.

The Supreme Court opinion, likely not to come until late spring, will land in the middle of a presidential campaign in which Democrats are elevating the question of reproductive rights. The debate is also likely to affect GOP efforts to grow their majority in the U.S. House and flip the Senate red….” Click here to read the NC Newsline story by Jennifer Shutt.

The real issue is that while the legality of mifepristone may not be at risk, access and availability of the medication most definitely are. The Court could turn the clock back to 2000 approval levels, 2016, pre-pandemic or pre-telemedicine – making it impossible for many to get abortion care.

“Reinstating an in-person requirement could substantially curtail access to abortion in the post-Roe v. Wade landscape. With abortion almost completely illegal in 14 states and banned after six weeks in two more, people seeking to terminate pregnancies are now far more likely to rely on telemedicine….” Click here to read the 19th News story by Shefali Luthra

This case is also about the Comstock Act which was passed by Congress in 1873. The religious zealots cited the Comstock Law in their Texas lawsuit because the Comstock Law makes it illegal to use the mail for transporting any “obscene, lewd, or lascivious book, pamphlet, picture, paper, print, or other publication of an indecent character, or any article or thing designed or intended for the prevention of conception or procuring of abortion.” Click here to read morestory by Grace Haley.

SCOTUS could decide to uphold the Comstock Act, thereby making the distribution of mediation abortion by mail illegal. 

Mifepristone is one of two pills in mediation abortion used to end a pregnancy.

Mifepristone is safe. “[Mifepristone] has been used for over 20 years by over five million people with the capacity to become pregnant,” said Ushma Upadhyay, an associate professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at the University of California, San Francisco. “Its safety is very well established.”

Is Mifepristone effective? “The researchers found that the medication was effective – it ended the pregnancy without any additional follow-up care for 97.7% of patients.” Read more here.

“Mifepristone was approved by the FDA over two decades ago, in September 2000 for medical termination of pregnancy through seven weeks gestation and this was extended to ten weeks gestation in 2016. FDA approved a generic version of Mifeprex, Mifepristone Tablets, 200 mg, in April 2019.” Read more here