June 19, 2024

Abortion Pill Access Has Been Threatened

Protesters march past the U.S. Capitol following a Planned Parenthood rally in support of abortion access outside the Supreme Court on Saturday, April. 15, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

The abortion pill, mifepristone, remains on the market indefinitely per the Supreme Court’s decision. Mifepristone is a drug, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that blocks progesterone needed for pregnancy; therefore an effective and safe abortion method. However, anti-abortion groups have been challenging the legality of mifepristone. The fear of it being banned further targets the protection of women’s reproductive rights and health. For now, the security of this widely used abortion method remains steadfast. The future may hold haunting results, as abortion was once a constitutional right, but look at society now. 

The lawsuit began with Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization, arguing that the FDA ignores clear safety concerns with mifepristone. Matthew Kacsmaryk was the federal judge overseeing the case and is known for his anti-abortion rhetoric. It comes as no surprise that he sided with the anti-abortionists and deemed mifepristone as a drug that kills unborn babies. The case is moved from lower courts and is brought to reach a verdict at the Supreme Court. The ruling was 7-2 in favor of mifepristone’s accessibility, a shocker considering the overturning of Roe v Wade in 2022 with a 6-3 vote. The dissenting opinions came from Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. 

The preservation of this abortion pill continues, but so does litigation, with the 5th Circuit Court holding oral arguments in May. Mifepristone accounts for more than half of the abortions in the United States. Suppose the ruling bans mifepristone, the inaccessibility of this drug will strain abortion clinics even further. These clinics are already facing unprecedented pressure as patients flood in from states where abortion is banned or restricted. If demand increases, clinics won’t have enough surgical supplies to keep up, and abortion will be difficult for women everywhere, as if it wasn’t a challenge already.