The U.S. Supreme Court issued an emergency ruling on April 21, 2023, that allows continued access to the abortion pill mifepristone in states where abortion is legal. The court’s decision, which included few details and only indicated that Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito did not concur, follows a whirlwind legal process about whether people should be able to purchase mifepristone, one of two drugs used in a two-dose series for inducing a medical abortion. On April 7, two federal district court judges halfway across the country from each other issued conflicting rulings about the validity of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone. Within a week, yet another court issued a third opinion, which allowed mifepristone to continue to be prescribed, but under more limited circumstances. Two days after that, on April 14, the U.S. Supreme Court issued yet a fourth divergent opinion, albeit a temporary one, maintaining that the drug should be kept available while the court considered the most recent emergency ruling.
Naomi R. Cahn & Sonia Suter, The Supreme Court rules mifepristone can remain available – here’s how 2 conflicting federal court decisions led to this point, The Conversation (April 21, 2023).
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