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DOJ asks Supreme Court to weigh in on abortion pill case

Court ruling preserves limited access to mifepristone
Posted at 5:52 AM, Apr 13, 2023

Attorney General Merrick Garland is asking the Supreme Court to weigh in on an abortion pill case after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals only granted partial access to the medication and left some restrictions in place.

“The Justice Department strongly disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA to deny in part our request for a stay pending appeal,” Garland said in a statement.

A federal appeals court ruled the abortion pill mifepristone can remain on the market for now.

However, that was only a partial victory for the Biden administration after a Texas judge ruled that the pill should be banned while the case is heard.

The appeals court said it would still allow for a ban on mail-order prescriptions of mifepristone and a requirement that women visit their doctor in person to get a prescription.

Last week, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, blocked the FDA’s approval of mifepristone following a lawsuit by an anti-abortion rights group, claiming the FDA rushed the drug’s approval more than two decades ago and it poses health risks to those who use it.

However, mifepristone has been used with misoprostol by millions of patients since being given FDA approval in 2000, and according to a study from the

Guttmacher Institute, medication abortions accounted for over half of all U.S. abortions in 2022.

President Joe Biden has yet to release a statement on the ruling, but on Wednesday, the White House proposed new safeguards to protect people seeking abortions.

The new rule by the Department of Health and Human Services strengthens the HIPAA privacy law by prohibiting protected health information, such as abortion procedures or medications, from being disclosed for "criminal, civil or administrative investigation."