The Fate of Medication Abortion in the Courts

This series explores recent court rulings on medication abortion and explains how they will affect Americans' access to abortion across the country and highlight the growing politicization of the judiciary.

Photo shows a close-up shot of the top of the U.S. Supreme Court building with the sunset light hitting it, against a blue sky.
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen at sunset in Washington, D.C., on October 21, 2021. (Getty/Anna Moneymaker)

Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a high-profile, controversial case making its way through the federal court system that threatens access to medication abortion and the safety of medicine for all Americans. The case threatens the availability of mifepristone, the first medicine in a two-step regimen used to end pregnancy. The meritless claims put forth to eliminate the medication challenge the congressionally mandated power of the FDA, which first approved the drug in 2000. Far from being just an abortion case, this lawsuit has implications for the potential politicization of medicine overall—one that highlights the dangers posed by a federal judicial system willing to upend legal precedent seemingly in the pursuit of ideological goals.

In addition, other efforts are playing out in federal courts across the country to protect access to mifepristone. Those cases include GenBioPro v. West Virginia, a challenge to state laws on the use of medication abortion that are contrary to the FDA’s standards, brought by the generic manufacturer of mifepristone. Other federal courts are hearing suits that would expand the use of medication abortion.

This series explores the legal issues on medication and mifepristone, lays out the dire consequences that would result if the courts rule on the side of far-right extremists, and explains the implications that the litigation has for ensuring Americans’ access to health care and maintaining an independent judiciary.

In this series

Compact View

The FDA’s Decisions on Mifepristone Have Advanced the Safety of Medication Abortion Article
A “combipack” of mifepristone and misoprostol pills is seen at a pharmacy.

The FDA’s Decisions on Mifepristone Have Advanced the Safety of Medication Abortion

The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. Food and Drug Administration, an unprecedented case on medication abortion that threatens to roll back years of scientific progress by undermining FDA decisions that have repeatedly affirmed and enhanced the safety of mifepristone.

Kierra B. Jones

Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA: The Safety of Medication Abortion Care Article
Photo shows an orange box of mifepristone pills next to a yellow container with four pills

Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA: The Safety of Medication Abortion Care

The judges in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA made egregious errors when describing post-medication ER care, which threatens access to all medications and highlights the politicization of the judiciary.

Becca Damante

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