Supreme Court hears arguments today on mifepristone

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in a case challenging access to the abortion pill mifepristone.

The Biden administration and drug manufacturer are asking SCOTUS to reverse a lower appeals court’s decision to block changes made in 2016 and 2021 that made the drug more easily accessible.

This is the first major challenge to abortion access since the court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion two years ago in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, according to scotusblog. In December, the Supreme Court agreed to review a ruling by a federal appeals court that would restrict access to the pill that accounts for a majority of abortions performed in the United States. 

Their decisions in the new cases, Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and Danco Laboratories v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, are likely to come sometime this summer during the 2024 presidential campaign, according to scotusblog.


Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022, abortion access has been left up to states, leaving providers confused about the legality of emergency room care.

Almost three quarters of physicians, 74%, say they were unclear what constitutes a life-threatening emergency that would allow a doctor to legally perform an abortion in states where it is otherwise banned, a survey found.

The Biden administration argues that doctors who oppose the drug can’t sue the Food and Drug Administration. Central to the dispute is the scope of the FDA’s authority to regulate mifepristone, a drug that the medical community has deemed safe and effective, according to CNN.

In the case being heard today, SCOTUS received received briefs from over 600 state legislators in support of the government.

“Since this Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade, amici have been legislating to address abortion access issues in their Legislatures and General Assemblies. While many do not agree with Dobbs, they have taken seriously the Court’s mandate, absent federal congressional action protecting the right to abortion, to address abortion access on a state-by-state basis, based on the needs, values, and desires of the constituents they were elected to represent,” according to court documents. 


Mifepristone, one of two drugs used in medication abortion and accounts for over half of abortions performed in the United States.

The Biden Administration has framed the argument as Donald Trump putting access to medication abortion at risk.

Email the writer: [email protected]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *