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Victory for the abortion pill at the US Supreme Court

Photo: Saul Loeb Agence France-Presse Abortion rights activists rally against anti-abortion activists in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Moyle v. United States, in Washington, on April 24.

Selim Saheb Ettaba – Agence France-Presse in Washington

Posted at 10:36 a.m. Updated at 1:28 p.m.

  • United States

The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday inflicted a setback on the conservatives most opposed to the right to abortion, by maintaining access to the abortion pill, with President Joe Biden nevertheless calling not to let your guard down.

In their unanimous judgment, the nine judges of the court with a conservative majority deny the “interest in acting”, a condition for taking legal action, of the plaintiffs – associations of doctors or practitioners hostile to voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG). who do not prescribe or use the pill mifepristone, used in the majority of abortions in the country. They therefore annul the appeal decision, which they had suspended in any case.

An appeals court, composed of ultraconservative judges, had reinstated in 2023 several of the restrictions on access to mifepristone, a pill used for medical abortion, lifted by the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) since 2016.

“Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that relaxing FDA rules would likely harm them in fact,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his decision on behalf of the Supreme Court.

“For this reason, the federal courts are not the appropriate venue to address plaintiffs’ concerns about FDA actions,” he added, noting that they can appeal to the executive or legislative branches.

Democratic President Joe Biden, who made protecting abortion rights a cornerstone of his campaign in November against his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, acknowledged the decision but stressed that “the fight continues.”

“This decision does not change the fact that millions of Americans today live under cruel abortion bans because of Donald Trump,” added his Vice President Kamala Harris. “Nor the threats to medical abortions,” she added.

With its historic June 2022 ruling striking down the federal guarantee of the right to abortion, the conservative-majority court has given states full latitude to legislate in this area. Since then, around twenty have banned abortion (voluntary prohibition of pregnancy), whether it is carried out by medication or surgery, or have strictly regulated it.

Donald Trump boasts that his appointments of three conservative judges to the Supreme Court enabled the reversal of jurisprudence in June 2022.

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The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research center whose studies authority, said he was “relieved” by the Supreme Court's ruling on mifepristone, “the only reasonable decision” possible, but deplored that this complaint “in bad faith and without factual or scientific basis” had reached this level. to the highest court in the country.

“Even after the failure of this unfounded appeal, we must remain vigilant. The anti-abortion movement relentlessly pursues its goal of banning abortion nationwide,” Destiny Lopez, co-president of the Guttmacher Institute, added in a statement.

The president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Nancy Northup, welcomed the decision, but also said that “this baseless case should never have gotten this far.”

“Unfortunately the attacks against abortion pills will not stop there,” she warned, in a press release emphasizing that the anti-abortion movement was “ready to do anything to block access to it.”

The conservative Christian organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represented the plaintiffs, said it was “disappointed that the Court did not “is not pronounced on the merits on the illegitimate actions of the FDA”, but reaffirmed that the reductions in the rules decided by the agency endanger the health of women.

Citing potential risks that have been ruled out by scientific consensus, the appeal decision, if confirmed, would have reduced the limit of ten weeks of pregnancy to seven, prohibited the sending of the tablets by post and made the delivery of the tablets compulsory once again. prescription exclusively by a doctor.

Nearly two-thirds of abortions (63%) in the United States in 2023 were performed by medication, the Guttmacher Institute.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116