Supreme Court agrees to decide on abortion pill access, approval process

The Supreme Court decided on Wednesday to hear a case on access to the abortion bill and its approval process, which has been defended by the Biden administration. 

The nation’s highest court agreed to consider appeals from the Biden administration and drug manufacturer Danco defending several moves by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration intended to make it easier to access and use the mifepristone pill in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year.

SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO HEAR CHALLENGE TO NEW YORK LAW ALLOWING ABORTION CLINIC BUFFER ZONES

In overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion and that the matter should be decided by the states. In the aftermath, 14 states have banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with some exceptions, and two others have banned abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks of gestation. 

The Biden administration and the maker of the drug mifepristone are asking the high court to reverse an appellate ruling that would cut off access to the drug through the mail and impose other restrictions, even in states where abortion remains legal. The restrictions include shortening from the current 10 weeks to seven weeks the time during which mifepristone can be used in pregnancy. The nine justices rejected a separate appeal from abortion opponents who challenged the FDA’s initial approval of mifepristone as safe and effective in 2000.

The case will be argued in the spring, with a decision likely by late June, in the middle of the 2024 presidential and congressional campaigns.

Mifepristone, made by New York-based Danco Laboratories, is one of two drugs used in medication abortions, which account for more than half of all abortions in the United States. More than 5 million people have used it since 2000, according to The Associated Press. 

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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