(National Right to Life Committee) And here we go. The Supreme Court today released its calendar for March oral arguments and said they will hear FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine on March 26. It’s the first time since the court’s historic 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe, that the justices will weigh in on the issue of abortion.
The drug at the center of the case is mifepristone—the abortion pill—which is half of a two-drug protocol used to end over half of all pregnancies.
The original lawsuit was brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of pro-life medical organizations and four doctors who say they have treated women with mifepristone. Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk held “that both the initial approval of the pills in 2000 as well as more recent FDA decisions allowing them to be prescribed via telemedicine, sent by mail and dispensed at retail pharmacies, are unlawful,” Politico’s Alice Miranda Ollstein wrote.
Judge Kacsmaryk stayed his decision to allow an appeal which came in short order. The case moved to the 5th Circuit, an appellate court that oversees district courts in several states, including Texas.
In August 2023, “the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit turned down the challengers’ request to revoke the FDA’s initial approval of the drug in 2000, ruling that the lawsuit came too late, but it rolled back later actions by the FDA that increased access to the drug, such as allowing it to be used later in pregnancy,” Amy Howe reported. “The drug, however, remains widely available as a result of a temporary order issued earlier in 2023 by the Supreme Court.”
“The FDA and Danco, which manufactures mifepristone, came to the Supreme Court last year, asking the justices to review the 5th Circuit’s decision, which they agreed in December to do.”
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In April 2023, National Right to Life released a white paper Addressing Many of the Myths the Media is Repeating about the FDA’s Approval and Management of Mifeprex (Mifepristone) which can be accessed here.
Editor's note: This article was published by National Right to Life Committee and is reprinted with permission.