Anti-Abortion Doctors Urge Supreme Court to Keep Mifepristone Restrictions

April 18, 2023

A group of doctors who oppose abortion asked the Supreme Court Tuesday to keep a lower court’s restriction on mifepristone in place.

The pill mifepristone can be used along with another medication, misoprostol, to end a pregnancy. Currently about half of all abortions in the U.S. are medication abortion. 

The Supreme Court is set to consider arguments on both sides Wednesday, following lower court rulings restricting access to mifepristone nationwide—even in states where abortion remains legal—while a lawsuit regarding the pill’s FDA approval goes forward.

The Department of Justice and drug manufacturer Danco Laboratories asked the Supreme Court on Friday to intervene and preserve access to the pill without restrictions while the legal battles play out.

The anti-abortion doctors assert that the Food and Drug Administration, which approved mifepristone more than 20 years ago, had not done enough to study the safety of the drug.

“Across decades, the agency has stripped away every meaningful and necessary safeguard on chemical abortion, demonstrating callous disregard for women’s well-being, unborn life, and statutory limit,” their lawyer, Erik C. Baptist, said.

The doctors’ argument comes after 400 pharmaceutical company executives said the lower court’s ruling ignored both scientific and legal precedent.  

A statement signed by the execs said, “If courts can overturn drug approvals without regard for science or evidence, or for the complexity required to fully vet the safety and efficacy of new drugs, any medicine is at risk for the same outcome as mifepristone.”

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who has jurisdiction over the federal appeals court involved in the case, asked to hear from the doctors. He said the Court would make its final determination by 11:59 p.m ET on Wednesday.

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