Supreme Court to decide whether to restrict abortion drug nationwide


The US Supreme Court said that it will consider whether to restrict nationwide access to a widely used abortion drug, even in the states where the procedure is still allowed after the landmark Roe v. Wade judgment was overturned last year. The top court’s announcement on Wednesday pertains to the drug mifepristone, which when coupled with another drug, is one of the most common abortion methods in the US, reports CNN. This latest case could be decided by July 2024.

Responding to the announcement, the White House said President Joe Biden’s administration will continue to support the US Food and Drug Administration’s “safe and effective” approval and regulation of the drug. “As the Department of Justice continues defending the FDA’s (Food and Drug Administration) actions before the Supreme Court, President Biden and Vice President Harris remain firmly committed to defending women’s ability to access reproductive care,” CNN quoted White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre as saying in a statement.

Mifepristone, a drug that the medical community has deemed safe and effective, has been used by millions of women across the country in the more than two decades it’s been on the market. The drug was initially approved by the FDA in 2000, but in 2016, 2019 and 2021, the agency put in place modifications that would make mifepristone more easily accessible. Those modifications were related to issues such as dosing and in person dispensing requirements and the changes also allowed the drug to be taken later in pregnancy.


Meanwhile, challengers — including doctors and groups who oppose abortion — argue that the FDA did not do enough to study the safety implications of the drug when it approved its use and made it more easily accessible in subsequent years.