The US Supreme Court lifted a nationwide ban on Tuesday that prevented the Trump administration from enforcing a rule to regulate pills commonly used in medical abortion, so the rule can now be enforced.
Since 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that Mifeprex (a drug used within the first ten weeks of pregnancy) must be administered to patients in clinics, hospitals or doctor’s offices. The patient must sign a form informing her that she has been informed of the possible risks of the drug. The patient can take the pill at any time after receiving the pill without having to swallow it in the presence of a healthcare professional.
A group of doctors led by the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists filed a lawsuit seeking to relax restrictions during the Covid-1
Maryland District Court Judge Theodore Chuang agreed to rule in July that keeping the FDA regulations in the pandemic would “create a major obstacle on the way for women seeking medical abortion, which could delay or stop the drug. A miscarriage may require a more invasive” procedure. He said that instead, pills can be sent by mail.
His order stopped the implementation of FDA rules nationwide, but he still retains the order so that the rules can be enforced by the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John Roberts said that whether the provision imposes an undue burden on women’s right to seek abortion is not a case. Instead, he said it was related to the blockade of rules by lower courts during the pandemic. “The courts must respect politically responsible departments to a large extent”, whose background is to assess public health.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for herself and Justice Elena Kagan that most women who seek abortion care during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy rely on controversial drugs.
Sotomayor wrote: “The FDA’s policy imposes unnecessary, unreasonable, unreasonable and inappropriate burdens on women seeking abortions during the current pandemic.”
Judge Stephen Breyer also stated that he will retain control of the enforcement of the rules.