News Release

Supreme Court Takes Up Mifepristone Access

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The Supreme Court will decide whether to limit access to mifepristone, a key abortion drug. This will be the most significant abortion access case since Dobbs

DAVID S. COHEN; david.s.cohen@drexel.edu, @dsc250 
    Cohen is a professor of law at Drexel University. His scholarship examines the intersection of constitutional law and gender. 

Cohen told the Institute for Public Accuracy that the upcoming case is more limited than the original case. “We know that the Supreme Court won’t look at the original approval of the drug in 2000. The challengers––the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine––had asked the Supreme Court to revisit the lower court’s ruling on that issue, and the Supreme Court denied that petition. They are not taking a look at that question. The court can always change its mind, but on Wednesday [December 13] it gave the strong impression it would not look” at the question of the drug’s original approval. 

“Even if the court does not address the 2000 approval, it could wind up rolling back some of the FDA changes that made mifepristone more available to people: expanding approval to 10 weeks, not requiring in-person dispensation, and allowing pharmacies to mail it to people. These changes have made [the drug] much more accessible. You don’t have to travel and you can use it later into pregnancy. That’s a huge victory for access. If the court rolls that back, that will make it more difficult for people to access [the drug].

“It’s important for the media to remind people that these drugs are safe and effective––safer than pregnancy, safer than the most common FDA-approved drugs. That can’t be hammered home enough.”