Supreme Court rules in abortion medication case, finds group lacked standing to challenge FDA approval

The Supreme Court ruled on restrictions to access to the abortion drug mifepristone

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against a challenge to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) regulatory approval process of the abortion drug mifepristone, in the latest abortion case since the landmark decision in 2022 that overturned Roe v. Wade. 

In a victory for the Biden administration and abortion rights supporters, the high court gave a unanimous decision that challengers to the FDA lacked standing to sue the government. 

"Under Article III of the Constitution, a plaintiff's desire to make a drug less available for others does not establish standing to sue. Nor do the plaintiffs' other standing theories suffice," Justice Brett Kavanaugh writes.

In March, the justices heard about 90 minutes of arguments about federal government regulations since 2016 that made access to mifepristone easier, including access by mail.


Supreme Court protesters

Protesters gather in the wake of the decision overturning Roe v. Wade outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

In overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion and that the matter may be decided by the states.

In the aftermath, 14 states have banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with some exceptions, and two others have banned abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is at around six weeks of gestation. 

The Biden administration and the maker of mifepristone asked the Court to reverse an appellate ruling that would cut off access to the drug through the mail and impose other restrictions, even in states where abortion remains legal. 

The restrictions would have included shortening from the current 10 weeks to seven weeks, the time during which mifepristone can be used in pregnancy. 

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