Supreme Court unanimously rejects bid to tighten restrictions on abortion pill

The Supreme Court ruled doctors opposing abortion lacked the standing to challenge the FDA's regulatory approval of the drug.

Supreme Court unanimously rejects bid to tighten restrictions on abortion pill
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
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In a unanimous 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court rejected an attempt to increase restrictions on access to mifepristone, a drug commonly used as part of a two-drug regimen to induce abortions.

The decision, authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, concluded the group of anti-abortion doctors who brought the case forward lacked standing to challenge the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) prior regulatory approval of the pill, the New York Post reported.

Justice Kavanaugh wrote in his opinion, "Those standing allegations suffer from the same problem — a lack of causation. The causal link between FDA's regulatory actions and those alleged injuries is too speculative or otherwise too attenuated to establish standing."

The Supreme Court's decision in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine comes as the most consequential ruling on abortion since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in 2022. The case was closely watched by both pro-life and abortion advocates, as it had the potential to significantly impact access to abortion medications nationwide.

During oral arguments in March, the justices expressed deep skepticism about upending the FDA's approval of mifepristone, signaling their reluctance to interfere with the agency's regulatory authority. The unanimous ruling reinforces the FDA's role in determining the safety and efficacy of drugs, including those used in abortion procedures.

The Supreme Court is also currently considering a separate abortion case out of Idaho, highlighting the ongoing legal battles surrounding reproductive rights in the United States following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The decision in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, however, represents a significant victory for advocates of abortion access and a setback for those seeking to impose further restrictions on the procedure.

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  • By David Menzies

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