Supreme Court Extends Time to Consider Case Threatening Access to Medication Abortion Nationwide

April 19, 2023 3:22 pm

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court extended by two days an administrative stay blocking decisions issued by a federal district court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that severely curtail the availability of mifepristone. The stay was extended until 11:59 pm Eastern time on Friday.

If the court does not step in, the Department of Justice warned that one version of the medication would be rendered misbranded and the other, the generic version of the medication which accounts for two-thirds of the market, unapproved. As a result, the majority of the supply of the mifepristone — which is used for most abortions in this country — could disappear almost overnight.

As drug safety and pharmaceutical industry experts have warned, if allowed to take effect, the lower court decisions will stymie the development and approval of life-saving new drugs and even put critical medications that Americans currently rely on at risk.

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, issued the following statement:

“The question before the justices has an extremely simple answer: The court should listen to the FDA, pharmaceutical industry experts, and leading national medical groups, and block the decision. People who need an abortion or miscarriage treatment shouldn’t be left to wonder if they will be able to get the care they need or if the Supreme Court will instead abruptly take that ability away from them. The decisions from lower courts are so fundamentally flawed that they have been roundly criticized by experts across the ideological spectrum. The court should put an end to this baseless and dangerous case once and for all.”

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