Tuesday, March 26, 2024 – KFF Health News
Tuesday, March 26, 2024 – KFF Health News

Abortion pill future under threat as Supreme Court trial begins

Today, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case challenging access to mifepristone, one of two drugs used in medical abortion. News outlets cover what’s at stake for the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry, how abortions may be further restricted, and claims that skewed science plays a role.

The Texas Tribune: Supreme Court takes up Texas decision overturning FDA approval of abortion drugs

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that has the potential to block access to mifepristone, a common abortion drug. It is the first major abortion case heard by the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022. The case was first filed in Amarillo, where conservative federal judge Matthew Kaczmarik nearly a year ago sided with anti-abortion groups that want to move mifepristone off the market. The Supreme Court subsequently froze any changes to the drug’s legal status until it had a chance to hear the case. (Klibanoff, 3/26)

NPR: Supreme Court hears mifepristone case Tuesday. Here’s what’s at stake

Just months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, a newly formed group called the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine sued the Food and Drug Administration, challenging its approval of mifepristone, an abortion drug. On Tuesday, the same justices who struck down constitutional protections for abortion will hear arguments in the next frontier of abortion restriction: tightening nationwide access to a drug that is used in nearly two-thirds of all abortions nationwide. (Simmons-Duffin, 3/25)

19th: How the Supreme Court could further restrict abortion

In its first major abortion case since overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on whether to limit access to a drug called mifepristone, one of two drugs commonly used to induce abortion. The case, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, addresses an issue seemingly narrow in scope: whether the federal agency erred in its 2016 decision to expand the circumstances in which mifepristone can be used, expanding its approval from seven weeks of pregnancy to 10 and removing the requirement to take leave in person. (Lutra, 3/25)

Reuters: Abortion pill fight in US Supreme Court leads to allegations of flawed science

Abortion opponents trying to persuade the US Supreme Court to limit access to the abortion pill mifepristone point to three studies by Gynuity Health Projects, a New York-based women’s health research group, to support their argument that it not safe despite regulatory approval decades ago. But the way the study has been prominently cited by plaintiffs in their attempts to limit how the pills are prescribed and distributed is puzzling to Dr. Beverly Winnikoff, Gynuity’s president, given that the conclusions overall support easier access to the drug. (Chung, 3/25)

Also –

KFF Health News: At stake in the mifepristone case: Abortion, FDA authority and a return to the 1873 obscenity law.

Lawyers for the conservative Christian group that won the case to overturn Roe v. Wade are returning to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday in pursuit of an urgent priority: closing access to abortion pills for women nationwide. The case challenges the FDA’s regulation of mifepristone, a prescription-only drug approved in 2000 with a stellar safety record that is used in 63 percent of all U.S. abortions. (Varney, 3/25)

The New York Times: Use of abortion pills has increased significantly since Roe, studies show

A study published Monday in the medical journal JAMA found that the number of abortions with the help of pills purchased outside the official health system increased in the six months after the repeal of the national right to abortion. Another report released last week by the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights, found that medical abortions now account for nearly two-thirds of all abortions performed by the country’s official health system, which includes clinics and telemedicine abortion services. (Belak, 3/25)

Axios: Self-monitoring abortions increased after Roe v. Wade was overturned, study shows

The number of women seeking medical abortion outside the formal health care system has increased since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to a new study. (Sharic, 3/25)

Other Reproductive Health News —

AP: Bill that would have put abortion access before Louisiana voters fails

A bill that would have ultimately allowed voters to decide whether abortion should be legal in Louisiana, a state with a near-total ban, failed after a Republican-controlled committee rejected it on Monday. The legislation proposes an amendment to the Louisiana constitution that would enshrine women’s reproductive rights, including allowing contraceptives such as birth control, access to abortions and infertility treatments. … However, a GOP-controlled committee voted 10-2 to involuntarily delay the bill, effectively repealing the measure. (Klein, 3/25)

The Hill: The number of black women who say they are afraid to have children is on the rise

Nearly two years after the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion, black women are increasingly concerned about the impact on pregnancy and childbirth. Nearly 40 percent of black women of reproductive age said they feel less safe and think about the risk of death if they get pregnant in a new poll by In Our Own Voice: A National Program for Black Women’s Reproductive Justice with PerryUndem released Monday . Among people living in restrictive states, 1 in 3 say they’ve thought about the risk of being arrested for something pregnancy-related. (Daniels, 3/25)

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