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    HomeWorldSupreme Court Upholds Access to Abortion Pill, a Win for Biden Administration

    Supreme Court Upholds Access to Abortion Pill, a Win for Biden Administration

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    The US Supreme Court has made a decision to keep a widely used abortion pill accessible for now. This decision temporarily freezes lower court rulings that would have banned or severely restricted availability of the drug, mifepristone. The case arose from a ruling by a US District Court judge in Texas, in a lawsuit brought by anti-abortion groups, that would have banned mifepristone, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. Mifepristone accounts for more than half of abortions in the United States. The Justice Department of President Joe Biden had filed an emergency appeal asking the Supreme Court to block the lower court rulings that would have banned or limited use of mifepristone.

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    The Supreme Court’s decision means that mifepristone will remain available while the case plays out in an appeals court. The Supreme Court decision effectively freezes the lower court rulings pending an appellate court hearing of the appeal from the Justice Department and mifepristone manufacturer Danco Laboratories.

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    Biden said the lower court decisions would have undermined FDA’s medical judgment and put women’s health at risk. Since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that enshrined the constitutional right to abortion for half a century, 13 states have banned abortion and it has been severely restricted in others.

    Opposition to the legal assault on the abortion pill is being spearheaded by the Justice Department, which argued that the initial ruling by the federal judge in Texas was based on a “deeply misguided assessment” of the pill’s safety. Mifepristone is one component of a two-drug regimen that can be used through the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. It has a long safety record, and the FDA estimates 5.6 million Americans have used it to terminate pregnancies since it was approved. Polls repeatedly show a clear majority of Americans support continued access to safe abortion, even as conservative groups push to limit the procedure — or ban it outright.

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