The Supreme Court is poised to rule Wednesday on a controversial case that could restrict access to the nation’s most commonly used abortion medication.
Justices are expected to issue a decision on a Texas case that seeks to roll back the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone.
Earlier this month, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk sided with an anti-abortion rights group that had filed a lawsuit claiming the FDA rushed its approval of the drug more than two decades ago.
The Justice Department, on behalf of the Biden administration and drugmaker Danco Laboratories, appealed the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the drug could still be prescribed nationwide, with limits.
The Justice Department strongly disagrees with the Fifth Circuits decision in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA to deny in part our request for a stay pending appeal, Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
The Supreme Court then issued a stay in the case until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
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If justices side with the Texas judge’s ruling, it would revoke FDA approval of mifepristone, ultimately blocking access to the drug nationwide, even in states where abortion is legal.
Mifepristone is one of two drugs currently approved by the FDA to terminate a pregnancy, and it’s used in more than half of all abortions in the U.S.
Since its approval by the FDA in 2000, mifepristone, along with another drug, misoprostol, has been used by more than 5 million women to induce abortions.