Wednesday, April 24, 2024
News

Supreme Court upholds approval of abortion drug as legal case unfolds

43views

Sign up for the daily Inside Washington email for exclusive US coverage and analysis delivered to your inbox

Receive our free Inside Washington email

The US Supreme Court has preserved access to a widely used abortion drug, while legal challenges against the government’s approval of mifepristone continue.

country’s high court’s decision On April 21, a federal judge in Texas upheld the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a drug that is used in more than half of all abortions in the US, in a decision that has serious and potentially dangerous consequences. There will be dangerous consequences. Millions of Americans.

With FDA approval upheld, mifepristone will remain legal and accessible. The case now returns to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana, where both sides will have a chance to file briefs. The matter will be argued before a three-judge panel on May 17.

Conservative Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas Disagree.

Abortion providers and abortion rights advocates fear that a ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kaczmarik in Texas, effectively securing a single judge with a history of anti-abortion activism, could end reproductive health concerns for millions of Americans. would allow decisions to be determined, not just in states where abortion already faces severe restrictions, but in states where access to Acre is legally protected.

A decision that also strips the FDA of regulatory authority could invite similar activist- and partisan challenges to other drugs at the center of right-wing attacks, including Covid-19 vaccines, birth control, HIV medication and hormones and access to sex. Other medications are included. Health verification.

“If this ruling is upheld, there will be virtually no FDA-approved prescription that is safe from these types of political, ideological attacks,” President Joe Biden said in a statement earlier this month.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday means the FDA’s 23-year-old approval of the drug will stay in place, while a high-profile challenge by an anti-abortion activist group continues. Lower court.

Mifepristone was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2000 for use in most cases up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Most miscarriages happen within the first nine weeks of pregnancy. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2019 to 2020, about 93 percent of all abortions were performed before the 13th week.

Mifepristone is also used to treat miscarriage. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, approximately 10 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage.

Research from major medical groups and hundreds of studies over the past two decades has overwhelmingly confirmed the drug’s safety and efficacy. Studies show it is as safe to use as common over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and protocols for medication abortion are used in more than 60 other countries.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association also signed a brief in the case opposing the challenge from anti-abortion groups.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a huge relief, but we are not out of trouble yet,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The lower court ruling out of Texas has zero basis in fact or law — and yet it has sown chaos, confusion and panic for patients and providers across the country, including in states with stronger protections for abortion rights. , “He said. “That crisis was not resolved today.”

Jennifer Delvain, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision, saying that “it is appalling to think that Americans came within hours of losing access to the drug used in most abortions in this country and its use.” Has been used by millions of people to safely end pregnancy or treat miscarriages.”

“Patients shouldn’t be monitoring Twitter to see if they can get the care they need,” he said.

In November, the right-wing legal group Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Amarillo, Texas, on behalf of a group of anti-abortion activists that incorporated the same month as the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, with an address in Amarillo.

The legal challenge was widely derided as an attempt to “shopping” for a judge who would provide a sympathetic ruling with an appeals process that would land a similarly sympathetic appeals court in Louisiana.

The Alliance Defending Freedom also led a Supreme Court challenge that ultimately failed. Roe v Wade In a ruling by the conservative Supreme Court majority last year Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organizationwhich nullified the constitutional right to abortion care.

In a statement following the Supreme Court ruling, Eric Baptiste, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the FDA “must be held accountable for the harm it has done to women’s health,” claims debunked by major health organizations and 20 years of research.

President Biden said his administration would “continue to fight the politically driven attacks on women’s health” and renewed his demand that Congress codify the protections for abortion care affirmed by Roe v. Wade into law. That’s becoming less likely in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, which has proposed a number of anti-abortion measures.

“But let’s be clear – the American people must continue to use their vote as their voice, and elect a Congress that will pass legislation that restores the security Roe v Wade,” Mr. Biden said.

This is a developing story