The US Supreme Court Restores Access to Abortion Pills—for Now
US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday stepped in to temporarily block lower courts’ decisions to impose restrictions on mifepristone, a pill used for medication abortion. The measure is essentially a pause on a Texas judge’s ruling last week to void the drug’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration. It also overrides the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ attempt late Wednesday to curb access to the drug.
It means mifepristone remains legal to use, and can continue to be distributed by mail and taken up until the 10th week of pregnancy—at least until midnight on Wednesday, April 19, when the temporary hold expires.
The Department of Justice is appealing the Fifth Circuit decision, and the Supreme Court has given all parties until noon on Tuesday, April 18, to submit their responses.
The legal firestorm over mifepristone erupted on April 7, when Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas ruled to revoke its FDA approval, overriding decades of scientific consensus on the drug’s safety. Kacsmaryk’s ruling claimed that the pill was unsafe…