The Supreme Court maintains access to the abortion pill mifepristone

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected restricting access to the abortion pill mifepristone, meaning that this widely used drug in the United States will continue to be available.

The court unanimously ruled that the group of anti-abortion doctors who challenged the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decisions to facilitate access to the pill lack standing to sue. Consequently, your claim will be dismissed.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing for the court, said in the decision that although the plaintiffs have “sincere legal, moral, ideological and political objections to elective abortion and the FDA's lax regulations on mifepristone,” that does not mean they can bring a federal case.

The plaintiffs did not prove that they suffered any damages, which means that “Federal courts are the wrong forum to address your concerns about FDA actions”he added.

“Plaintiffs can present their concerns and objections to the President and the FDA in the regulatory framework or to Congress and the President in the legislative framework,” Kavanaugh wrote. “And they can also express their opinions about abortion and mifepristone to their fellow citizens, including in political and electoral processes.”

In dismissing the case, the Supreme Court avoided getting into the legal substance of whether the FDA acted legally in lifting several restrictions on access to the pill, including one that made the drug could be obtained by mailmeaning the same issues could come back to court at another time.

The decision means that access to the pill will continue to be allowed within 10 weeks of gestation, instead of seven. Likewise, allowing health care providers and not just doctors to dispense the pill will continue.

The ruling comes two years after the 6-3 conservative majority House overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade that guaranteed the federal right to abortion, and that caused a wave of restrictions on the procedure in conservative states.

At that time, the highest court signaled that it was withdrawing from the political debate on abortion, but litigation over access to abortion continues to cause political and health crises, so judges continue to play a fundamental role.

The mifepristone litigation is not the only abortion case being considered by the Supreme Court. It must also decide whether Idaho's strict abortion ban prevents emergency room doctors from performing abortions when a pregnancy is life-threatening.

Mifepristone is used as part of an FDA-approved two-drug regimen, and is now the most common form of abortion in the United States. Abortion is prohibited in 14 states. according to the Guttmacher Institute, a group that supports abortion rights.

The FDA has the backing of the pharmaceutical industry, which has warned that any challenge to the approval process by inexperienced federal judges could cause chaos and slow drug innovation.

The lawsuit was filed by doctors and other health professionals, represented by the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom.

Last year, Texas-based District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued a ruling that completely invalidated the FDA's approval of the pill, causing panic among pro-abortion activists who feared its ban throughout the country.

The Supreme Court put that ruling on hold in April, so the pill remained available while the litigation continued.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last August limited Kacsmaryk's decision, but maintained its conclusion that the FDA's move to lift restrictions starting in 2016 was illegal.

Both parties appealed to the Supreme Court. In December, the court accepted the Biden Administration's appeal defending the FDA's subsequent decisions, but chose not to hear the challenge to the original approval of mifepristone in 2000.

The Supreme Court focused solely on the FDA's subsequent actions, including the initial 2021 decision that allowed the drug to be sold by mail.