Abortion pill mifepristone: US Supreme Court upholds approval


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Status: 04/15/2023 00:54

The Supreme Court has now intervened in the dispute over the approval of mifepristone in the USA. The judges want to maintain access to the abortion pill – for the time being.

The US Supreme Court has temporarily allowed access to the abortion pill mifepristone. With an injunction, after an 11-hour session, the court ordered the drug to remain available until April 19.

The Supreme Court was responding to a motion brought by the administration of President Joe Biden and the pharmaceutical company Danco Laboratories against an appellate court order. This instance had decided that mifepristone should only be available and used with restrictions.

The appeals court came after a decision by a Texas federal court to suspend approval of the drug altogether.

US government fears regulatory confusion

In its urgent request to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department argued that the rulings would “disturb the complex regulatory framework governing mifepristone,” profoundly damaging to women, the nation’s healthcare system, the FDA, and the public interest.

In the decision of the Supreme Court in Washington, which has now been signed by Judge Samuel Alito, the parties are asked to submit their briefs by April 18th. After several replacements during the tenure of ex-US President Donald Trump, the conservative camp has a majority of six of the nine judges on the court.

Abortion opponents sued mifepristone approval

Mifepristone, known in Germany under the trade name Mifegyne, is used in more than every second abortion in the USA. According to the FDA, more than 5.6 million women have used the pill since it was approved in 2000. In less than 1,500 cases there were complications without a link to mifepristone being established.

Abortion opponents had sued in Texas against the approval – they want to make access to medical abortion more difficult. In particular, the religious right and large sections of the Republican Party have been trying to curtail abortion rights in the USA for decades.

Last year, the Supreme Court national abortion rights overturned, which was valid for almost 50 years. According to surveys, a majority of the population supports this right.

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