Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Abortion Pill In Setback For Pro-Life Movement

It was the first major abortion case since Roe was overturned.
382724 01: Three RU-486 Mifeprex abortion pills are held in a hand December 1, 2000 in Granite City, Illinois. The Hope Center for Women is the first area abortion clinic to distribute the new pills that terminates a pregnancy. The RU-486 pill was approved in September and can be taken by women up to the seventh week of pregnancy. The drug blocks the hormone that sustains the embryo and then unhooks it from the uterine wall. (Photo by Bill Grenblatt/Liaison)
Bill Grenblatt/Liaison/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to the abortion pill in a significant setback for the pro-life movement.

In a unanimous 9-0 ruling, the justices rejected a lawsuit from a group of doctors opposed to abortion who were pushing for more restrictions on mifepristone, one of two drugs frequently taken together to cause an abortion.

The ruling means mifepristone pills can continue to be mailed to patients without seeing a doctor in person.

In the opinion of the court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote that the anti-abortion doctors who brought the case lacked standing to challenge the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations around the abortion pill since they themselves do not prescribe mifepristone.


“Those standing allegations suffer from the same problem—a lack of causation. The causal link between FDA’s regulatory actions and those alleged injuries is too speculative or otherwise too attenuated to establish standing,” Kavanaugh wrote.

The case, FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, was the first major abortion case to come before the Supreme Court since 2022 when it overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide.

“We recognize that many citizens, including the plaintiff doctors here, have sincere concerns about and objections to others using mifepristone and obtaining abortions,” Kavanaugh wrote. “But citizens and doctors do not have standing to sue simply because others are allowed to engage in certain activities – at least without the plaintiffs demonstrating how they would be injured by the government’s alleged under-regulation of others.”

Attorney Erin Hawley of Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the doctors, said the plaintiffs were “disappointed” the court did not agree with them on the “lawless removal of commonsense safety standards for abortion drugs.”

“Nothing in today’s decision changes the fact that the FDA’s own label says that roughly one in 25 women who take chemical abortion drugs will end up in the emergency room—a dangerous reality the doctors and medical associations we represent in this case know all too well,” Hawley said in a statement. “The FDA recklessly leaves women and girls to take these high-risk drugs all alone in their homes or dorm, without requiring the ongoing, in-person care of a doctor.”

Hawley noted, however, that the court emphasized that federal law “fully protects doctors against being required to provide abortions or other medical treatment against their consciences.”

Early on in the case, the Biden administration’s Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to weigh in after the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the FDA’s mifepristone approval, but with a significant caveat — the court brought back restrictions on the abortion pill that were scrapped in 2016.

Before 2016, mifepristone could only be prescribed by a doctor and picked up in person, and patients had to visit a doctor three times to get the medication abortion. If the Fifth Circuit’s ruling were to take effect, women would not be able to get a prescription for abortion pills through telemedicine or receive mifepristone through the mail.

The Supreme Court took up the case but turned down another request from the same group of anti-abortion doctors, the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine to consider the merits of the FDA’s original mifepristone approval in 2000.

Leading pro-life voices expressed their disappointment with Thursday’s ruling as well.

“As a practicing OB-GYN with over 30 years’ experience, I have seen firsthand that mail-order abortion drugs harm my patients, both mothers and their unborn children,” said Dr. Ingrid Skop, a board-certified OB-GYN and director of medical affairs at the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

“Abortion advocates and corporate media ignore their stories as they shamelessly promote mail-order distribution of dangerous drugs without a single in-person doctor visit,” Skop said in a statement. “As a tragic result, I expect to see more women need blood transfusions, emergency surgery and other drastic measures and our emergency medical systems overwhelmed.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America called out Democrats for pushing mail-order abortion drugs on women and their unborn children.

“The pro-life safety net stands ready to serve women facing unexpected pregnancies, as well as those hurt by abortion, and save babies’ lives,” she said in a statement.

“Joe Biden and the Democrats are hell-bent on forcing abortion on demand any time for any reason, including DIY mail-order abortions, on every state in the country,” Dannenfelser said. “Pro-abortion fearmongering has hit new lows as the Democrats go all in on abortion to save them in the coming elections. They seek to shut down pregnancy resource centers, ban safe and effective Abortion Pill Reversal, put pro-life advocates in jail and rewrite all the laws to make sure abortion is the only ‘choice’ available. It is they who are playing political games with women’s lives, while every pro-life state in the country protects them.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Abortion Pill In Setback For Pro-Life Movement