HomeWorldSupreme Court retains abortion drug approval while legal case unfolds

Supreme Court retains abortion drug approval while legal case unfolds

The US Supreme Court has preserved access to a widely used abortion drug as legal challenges continue against government approval of mifepristone.

The nation’s top court decision on April 21 upholds US Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug, which is used in more than half of all abortions in the US. profound and potentially dangerous consequences for millions of Americans.

Mifepristone will remain legal and accessible, with the FDA approval intact. The case now returns to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana, where both sides will have an opportunity to present briefs. The case will be heard before a panel of three judges on May 17.

Conservative Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Abortion providers and abortion rights advocates feared that a ruling preserving a US district judge’s decision only in states where abortion already faces severe restrictions but in states where access to acreage is legally protected .

A ruling stripping the FDA’s regulatory authority could also invite similar activist and party-driven challenges to other drugs at the center of right-wing attacks, including Covid-19 vaccines, control of the birth control, HIV drugs, and hormones and other drugs used for gender. -Affirmation of health.

“If this ruling were upheld, virtually no FDA-approved prescription would be safe from these types of political and ideological attacks,” President Joe Biden said in a statement earlier this month.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday, hours before a self-imposed midnight deadline, means the 23-year-old FDA approval of the drug will remain in effect while a high-profile challenge mounted by an activist group against the drug continues. abortion in a Court of First Instance.

Mifepristone was first approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration in most cases up to 10 weeks of pregnancy in 2000. The vast majority of miscarriages occur within the first nine weeks of pregnancy. weeks pregnant. From 2019 to 2020, nearly 93 percent of all abortions were performed before the 13th week, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mifepristone is also used to treat miscarriage. Approximately 10 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Leading medical groups and research from hundreds of studies over the past two decades have confirmed the drug’s overwhelming safety and efficacy. Studies show that it is as safe to use as common over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and the medical abortion protocol is used in more than 60 countries.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association also signed a brief in the case opposing the challenge from anti-abortion groups.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a huge relief, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The Texas lower court’s ruling has no basis in fact or law, and yet has sown chaos, confusion, and panic among patients and providers across the country, including those in states with strong protections for right to abortion,” he added. “That crisis was not resolved today.”

Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision, adding that “it is terrifying to think that Americans have lost access to a drug that is used in the majority of abortions in this country.” and has been used for decades by millions of people to safely terminate a pregnancy or treat a miscarriage.”

“Patients shouldn’t have to monitor Twitter to see if they can get the care they need,” he added.

This is a developing story



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