Mifepristone will remain available for now
By Mae Lackey, 3:42PM, Wed. Dec. 13, 2023
The Supreme Court announced this morning that they will hear a case that could put an end to access to mifepristone, a medication used for most abortions in the U.S. A Texas federal judge blocked the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone this spring. But, until SCOTUS decides on mifepristone, access to the drug will remain.
The consolidated cases, FDA vs. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine as well as Danco Laboratories, L.L.C. vs. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, involve anti-abortion advocates who have challenged the FDA’s approval of mifepristone. Mifepristone is an extremely effective, safe drug with a proven track record. It’s been approved by the FDA for 23 years now.
Despite the drug’s history as a safe and effective method of abortion, the outlook for SCOTUS’ decision on the case is grave. Considering SCOTUS’ overturning of Roe v. Wade last June, it’s safe to say that access to abortion in this country is in jeopardy. Luckily, though, telehealth abortion providers have been able to send pills by mail, even in states with abortion bans. Shield laws in some progressive states protect clinicians practicing telemedicine who mail abortion pills. (And while in Texas it is illegal to provide an abortion, it is not illegal to receive an abortion or pills to induce one.)
Access to mifepristone and misoprostol, the popular combination of pills used for medication abortion, will not completely halt even if SCOTUS’ decision eliminates access to mifepristone. An online network of vendors from within the U.S. as well as in other countries send generic pills via mail, and some will continue to do so regardless of the possible restriction. Plan C, a public health campaign and information resource for abortion, lists these vetted routes of access on their website, www.plancpills.org.
Find more information about abortion resources here.
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