04.21.23 (PRESS RELEASE) — Today, the Supreme Court announced it would continue to block an unprecedented order seeking to revoke the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s approval of mifepristone—one of the two drugs used in medication abortion. This ruling means that mifepristone will remain available for now while the case proceeds. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon hear the case on May 17.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is a huge relief, but we’re not out of the woods yet. For now, providers and patients have the assurance that mifepristone is available and remains an FDA approved drug. But we shouldn’t even be here. This case should have been thrown out way before it got to the Supreme Court,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The lower court ruling out of Texas has zero basis in fact or law–and yet it has sowed chaos, confusion and panic for patients and providers across the country, including those in states with strong protections for abortion rights. That crisis was not resolved today. Just days ago, a new lawsuit backing the FDA’s approval was filed and undoubtedly more lawsuits will be coming. At the Center for Reproductive Rights, we will continue to pursue every legal avenue to ensure this unfounded legal attack does not succeed.”
Mifepristone was approved by the FDA in 2000 and since that time, medication abortion has been used by nearly 5 million patients across the country. Numerous studies have repeatedly shown the safety and efficacy of mifepristone in the two-drug medication abortion regimen. Medication abortion accounts for more than half (54%) of all abortions in the U.S., and 98% of medication abortions in 2020 used the two-drug protocol.
Leading medical and public health groups including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose restrictions on mifepristone and warned the Supreme Court that such limitations will endanger pregnant people’s health.
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