[Providence, RI] – Statement from The Womxn Project on Supreme Court review of order on mifepristone:
“Fridays are pretty exciting lately in the movement for abortion rights, justice and access. Last week, a Trump appointed judge in Texas issued a decision attempting to stay (aka halt) access to mifepristone and minutes ago the Supreme Court temporarily blocked mifepristone restrictions in a rare win for abortion rights!! The decision delays a ruling from a federal appeals court and will allow abortion providers to continue providing the drug as usual for now.
At the urging of the Department of Justice, the Supreme Court reviewed the prior rulings and temporarily blocked heavy restrictions on the use of mifepristone, one of two drugs used for a medication abortion. The decision delays a ruling from a federal appeals court and will allow abortion providers to continue providing the drug as usual until at least 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday. Parties to the lawsuit have until noon Tuesday to file arguments with the high court.
The Supreme Court‘s intervention allows physicians to continue using mifepristone for abortions past seven weeks and distributing the pill by mail and without an in-person visit to a doctor’s office – restrictions that the 5th Circuit tried to reinstate.
This is after a host of action in recent days. After Judge tried to suspend the FDA’s nearly 23-year-old approval of mifepristone, the Fifth Circuit issued an order on Wednesday which reinstated burdensome restrictions from pre-2016, including taking away the ability to send mifepristone through the mail and imposes a limit on which health professionals can provide and insists that only physicians may prescribe the drug. It did not revoke FDA approval of the drug entirely, but if this decision stands, it would seriously limit abortion access in every state. Shortly after, the Department of Justice announced that they were seeking emergency relief from the Supreme Court. Danco Laboratories, the makers of Mifeprex (mifepristone), also submitted a request to the Supreme Court to block the order that threatens access to mifepristone. The results of the requests are pending.
Governors in New York, Washington, Massachusetts and California have taken action to try to protect the ability of folks in their states to get and use mifepristone, including purchasing a larger supply to ensure access or expanding protections for medication abortion.
A ban on mifepristone would take away an important option for abortion that has helped to address the lack of clinic based provision and give people the option of self managing their care on their own terms. Mifepristone is also used for miscarriage management, to treat lupus, and to reduce the risk of ulcers, among many other medical uses. The sad fact is that the people advancing this lawsuit do NOT care that taking away this option has dangerous and far reaching implications.
We want to be very clear that no matter the outcome of this case, we will work to ensure affordable options for abortion. Abortion providers aren’t going anywhere and neither are we. We will never stop speaking out, showing up and caring for ourselves and our communities! We cannot – and should not – allow an extremist judge in Texas or anywhere to deny access to mifepristone. We will do all we can to ensure that we can manage our own health and body and plan our own families and futures!”