Supreme Court preserves access to abortion pill for now

Ahead of an abortion pill decision in Washington the Supreme Court is seen. The photo was taken byJacquelyn Martin.

Access to the abortion pill is being preserved by the Supreme Court.

Ahead of an abortion pill decision in Washington, the Supreme Court is pictured. The photo was taken byJacquelyn Martin.

The Supreme Court on Friday preserved women’s access to a drug used in the most common method of abortion, rejecting lower court restrictions while a lawsuit continues

Emergency requests from the Biden administration and Danco Laboratories were granted by the justices. The lower court ruling would roll back the approval of the drug.

More than 5 million people have used the drug in the U.S. since it was approved in 2000. More than half of all abortions in the U.S. are done with the combination of Mifepristone and misoprostol.

This is a major news update. Below is AP’s earlier story.

The Supreme Court is facing a self imposed Friday night deadline to decide if women’s access to a widely used contraceptive will stay unchanged or be restricted while a legal challenge to its Food and Drug Administration approval goes on.

The availability of the most common abortion method in the United States would be disrupted if lower court rulings were allowed to take effect.

Since the FDA approved it in 2000, it has been used by more than 5 million women in the U.S.

The Supreme Court was supposed to decide by Wednesday if the restrictions could take effect. The justices were given two additional days after Justice Samuel Alito signed a one sentence order.

The justices will have a private conference Friday where they can discuss the issue. There is an effort to craft an order with broad support among the justices. One or more justices might be writing a separate opinion and asking for more time to finish.

It is the first controversy to reach the nation’s highest court since its 10 months ago, when it allowed more than a dozen states to effectively ban abortion.

Alito said in his majority opinion that removing federal courts from the abortion fight was one reason for the overturn of the law. He said it was time to return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.

More than half of all abortions in the United States are done with medication.

If a woman wants to end her pregnancies in the first 10 weeks, she can take the two drugs. The FDA has made it easier for people to use the drug over the years, including allowing it to be sent through the mail in states that allow it.

In November, the abortion opponents filed a lawsuit in Texas, asserting that the FDA’s original approval of the drug 23 years ago was flawed.

The FDA approval of the drug was revoked by an appointees of former President Donald Trump on April 7. The judge gave the Biden administration and Danco Laboratories a week to appeal and try to keep his ruling on hold.

Two more Trump appointees responded to the appeal. The Circuit Court of Appeals said something. The rest of Kacsmaryk’s ruling could take effect while the case is heard in federal courts.

The FDA made changes starting in 2016 that would be nullified by their ruling. Patients who seek the drug need to make three in person visits with a doctor according to the court. The FDA says it is necessary for women to take a higher dosage of the drug.

If those restrictions are put in place, there will be chaos. A federal judge in Washington ordered the FDA to preserve access to the drug under the current rules in 17 states and the District of Columbia, which filed a separate lawsuit.

The FDA’s situation has been created by the Biden administration’s rulings.

There is a new legal problem. In the event that the Supreme Court doesn’t intervene, GenBioPro filed a lawsuit to prevent the FDA from removing its drug from the market.

The Supreme Court is being asked to block the lower court rulings through the end of the legal case. If the court does not agree, the administration and Danco have a different argument. They want the court to hear arguments and decide the case by the summer.

At least one appeals court has examined the legal issues involved before the court takes such a step.

The 5th circuit in New Orleans ordered an accelerated schedule for hearing the case, with arguments set for May 17.

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