Supreme Court upholds abortion pill access, for now

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 07: United States Supreme Court (front row LR) Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Associate Justice Elena Kagan, (back row LR ) Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson pose for their formal portrait in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court Building on October 7, 2022 in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Supreme Court has chosen to keep a widely used abortive drug available nationwide, upholding a conservative appeals court’s blocking of a lower court judge’s injunction revoking approval decades-old medicine.

In a 7-2 decision Friday night, the Supreme Court granted the government’s request to stay U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk’s April 7 order blocking the sale of mifepristone nationwide. Kacsmaryk, a Donald Trump appointee, withdrew FDA approval of the drug, saying the agency “exceeded its authority” by approving the drug in 2000.

“The applications for a stay presented to Judge Alito and referred by him to the Court are granted,” the order reads.

The stay will stand pending resolution of the case by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which had blocked the part of Kacsmaryk’s ruling that would have withdrawn mifepristone’s approval entirely, but upheld its decision to reverse a 2016 policy that made the drug more readily and widely available.

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