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Breaking: SCOTUS Rules on Americans' Access to Abortion Pill

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The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that a pro-life doctors group, which sued the Food and Drug Administration over relaxing its safety standards for prescribing the abortion pill mifepristone, lacked standing.

The lead medical group in the suit, the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, argued the FDA did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act in implementing the change.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who wrote the opinion of the court said, “In 2016 and 2021, the Food and Drug Administration relaxed its regulatory requirements for mifepristone, an abortion drug. Those changes made it easier for doctors to prescribe and pregnant women to obtain mifepristone.”

“Several pro-life doctors and associations sued FDA, arguing that FDA’s actions violated the Administrative Procedure Act,” he continued. “But the plaintiffs do not prescribe or use mifepristone. And FDA is not requiring them to do or refrain from doing anything.”

“Rather, the plaintiffs want FDA to make mifepristone more difficult for other doctors to prescribe and for pregnant women to obtain,” Kavanaugh wrote. “Under Article III of the Constitution, a plaintiff’s desire to make a drug less available for others does not establish standing to sue. Nor do the plaintiffs’ other standing theories suffice. Therefore, the plaintiffs lack standing to challenge FDA’s actions.”

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Justice Clarence Thomas emphasized in a concurring opinion that the ruling was about standing, explaining, “Just as abortionists lack standing to assert the rights of their clients, doctors who oppose abortion cannot vicariously assert the rights of their patients.”

The Daily Signal reported that when the FDA first approved mifepristone in 2000 it required three doctor visits: “the first to take mifepristone, the second to take misoprostol, and the third to confirm that the baby was dead.”

In 2016, during the Obama administration, the FDA reduced the number of required doctor office visits from three to one and removed the requirement that a doctor had to prescribe the drugs.

Then in 2021, during the Biden administration, the FDA ended the requirement that the drugs be dispensed to mothers in person, allowing telehealth prescriptions, which could be fulfilled by mail.

Is abortion murder?

Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Erin Hawley, whose firm represented the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, said in a statement following the Supreme Court ruling, “We are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not reach the merits of the FDA’s lawless removal of commonsense safety standards for abortion drugs.”

“Nothing in today’s decision changes the fact that the FDA’s own label says that roughly one in 25 women who take chemical abortion drugs will end up in the emergency room — a dangerous reality the doctors and medical associations we represent in this case know all too well,” she continued.

“The FDA recklessly leaves women and girls to take these high-risk drugs all alone in their homes or dorm rooms, without requiring the ongoing, in-person care of a doctor,” Hawley said.

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Danco Laboratories, a mifepristone manufacturer that had intervened in the case, said it was “pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision,” according to CNN.

Danco spokesperson Abigail Long said, the ruling “maintained the stability of the FDA drug approval process, which is based on the agency’s expertise and on which patients, healthcare providers and the U.S. pharmaceutical industry rely.”

Planned Parenthood posted on social media following the ruling, “Good news for now: SCOTUS ruled against restricting access to mifepristone, a pill for medication abortion & miscarriage care. It’s still available in states that allow it.”

Heritage Foundation legal fellows Thomas Jipping and Melanie Israel noted that the decision is “not the final judgement on the safety or effectiveness of mifepristone,” the Daily Signal reported.

“While legal technicalities might allow [President Joe] Biden’s FDA to continue manipulating its safety rules to push a pro-abortion agenda at the expense of health and common sense, women and girls taking these chemical abortion drugs are still in danger and largely left to fend for themselves,” they added.

“Policymakers should be on the side of women’s safety by, at a minimum, demanding that the FDA follow its own original safety guidelines, not give abortion drugs a pass because of radical abortion ideology.”


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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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