04.14.23 (PRESS RELEASE) — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily prevented a radical court order from taking effect just hours before it was set to do so. If the Supreme Court had not acted, burdensome and medically unnecessary restrictions would have been reinstated on mifepristone, one of the two drugs used in medication abortion. Mifepristone accounts for more than half of all abortions nationwide. Today’s decision means that mifepristone will remain available and that patients can still access the care they need, until at least Wednesday night.
The full Supreme Court is expected to weigh in next week on whether to grant a longer-term stay while the case proceeds. Providers have been thrown into chaos repeatedly this week, with the accessibility of mifepristone volleying between two federal district courts and a circuit court.
“Mifepristone will remain available as it has for the last 23 years, for at least five more days. This week has created whiplash for healthcare providers and patients—and this order provides cold comfort for a brief few days. But this case is far from over. The Supreme Court must take action next week to stop the chaos unleashed by these extreme decisions.” said Jenny Ma, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “This lawsuit was manufactured by anti-abortion advocates and based on biased anecdotes and junk science. It’s a completely baseless case that has nothing to do with preserving patients’ health or safety. Instead, this is another step in taking away the bodily autonomy of pregnant people and an attempt to end abortion in every single state. The science and facts are clear: medication abortion is safe and effective.”
Mifepristone was approved by the FDA in 2000 and since that time, medication abortion has been used by nearly 5 million people across the country. Numerous studies have repeatedly shown the safety and efficacy of mifepristone in the two-drug medication abortion regimen. Medication abortion currently 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.
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