The Abortion Pill Hokey Pokey

By Right to Life of Michigan Staff

What’s the current status of the abortion pill? Because of the U.S. Supreme Court, it remains the post-COVID wild west of mail-order abortions until at least May 17.

A federal judge in Texas originally ruled that the FDA’s original approval process for the abortion pill in 2000 violated federal laws and regulations. That’s the only correct legal decision.

That decision was appealed to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court, which attempted to literally split the baby and allow the abortion pill to continue to be used, but eliminated the FDA’s post-COVID rules update that allowed mail-order abortions. This was a temporary stay while the case proceeded.

Forget for a moment that it is undeniably against federal law to ship abortion pills through the mail to people. But since when did laws matter in America? They seem to be just words.

During COVID, the Biden Administration took advantage of the emergency to suspended abortion pill safety rules—at the behest of the Abortion Industry, and not for patient safety.

The 5th Circuit’s “compromise” was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which voted 7-2 on April 21 to dissolve the stay.

So, we wait until hearings on May 17 in the 5th Circuit to see the next step in this saga across three decades.

Abortion Pill: Back to the Fifth Circuit

A Right to Life of Michigan pro-life update.

Women and children continue to be put at risk due to the abortion pill littering the U.S. market thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The country anxiously awaited the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling on mifepristone. Ultimately, after a temporary stay for two days from Justice Samuel Alito, the court ruled against the Texas judge and sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit Court.

Several court rulings have been filed since the beginning of this journey in November of last year. To clear any confusion about the status of the abortion pill, here is a timeline:

  • November 2022: Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine filed a lawsuit challenging the FDA’s unlawful approval of the abortion pill.
  • April 7th: Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk agreed that the approval was unlawful while simultaneously a Washington State judge ruled that no changes need to be made to the FDA’s approval of the drug.
  • April 12th: the Fifth Circuit weighed in on the case and ultimately decided that while they are reviewing the facts, the abortion pill will be available but mail-order abortions and non-physician dispensing will be prohibited.
  • April 14th: Justice Samuel Alito issued a temporary stay that expired Wednesday night, April 19th. The stay allowed for the distribution of the abortion pill without any restrictions. The stay was extended to Friday, April 21st.
  • April 21st: the temporary stay expired. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that no restrictions can be placed on the drug.

The future of the abortion pill is now back in the hands of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. More updates to come as they unfold.

NPR: Supreme Court blocks lower court decision in case on FDA approval of abortion pill

By: Nina Totenberg

Original date: Friday, April 21, 2023 at 6:59 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday blocked lower court decisions banning or limiting the FDA-approved use of the abortion pill mifepristone for the foreseeable future.

But the justices, for now, left the case in the hands of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has scheduled oral arguments in the case for May 17. However the 5th Circuit rules, the case will almost certainly end up back at the Supreme Court, with the potential for a decision in the case next term.

The court’s action means that for now at least, the drug will be widely available, at least in those states where abortion is legal for up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy.

Read the rest here.

Join Right to Life of Michigan’s email list here (scroll to their footer).