The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that women must visit a doctor’s office, hospital or clinic in person to obtain an abortion pill rather than receiving it by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.
The justices granted a Trump administration appeal to be able to enforce a longstanding rule on getting the abortion pill mifepristone. The pill need not be taken in the presence of medical professionals.
The court split 6-3, with the liberal justices in dissent.
The new administration could put the in-person requirement on hold after Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.
A federal judge had suspended the rule in July because of the pandemic in response to a lawsuit from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other groups.
U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang upheld the suspension of the rule in December, saying public health risks for patients had increased.
In October, the Supreme Court allowed women to continue getting the abortion pill by mail but deferred any substantive ruling.
Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted the administration’s request.
At the time, there were only eight justices on the court, as Justice Amy Coney Barrett had been nominated but not yet confirmed.
Barrett took the seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.
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