Supreme Court upholds access to abortion pill, for now

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 07: United States Supreme Court (front row L-R) Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan, (back row L-R) Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson pose for their official portrait at the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court building on October 7, 2022, in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Supreme Court opted to keep a widely-used abortion drug available nationwide, upholding a conservative appeals court’s block of a lower court judge’s injunction revoking the drug’s decades-old approval.

In a 7-2 ruling Friday evening, the Supreme Court granted the government’s request to stay U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk’s April 7 order blocking the sale of mifepristone nationwide. Kacsmaryk, a Donald Trump appointee, withdrew the FDA’s approval of the drug, finding that the agency “exceeded its authority” in approving the drug in 2000.

“The applications for stays presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court are granted,” the order said.

The stay will hold pending disposition of the matter in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had blocked the part of Kacsmaryk’s ruling that would have withdrawn approval of mifepristone entirely but kept in place his decision to overturn a 2016 policy that made the drug more easily and widely available.

Supreme Court upholds access to abortion pill, for now

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