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The US Supreme Court temporarily keeps the use of the abortion pill


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The US Supreme Court issued a decision Friday to temporarily maintain the use of the abortion pill, which is widespread in the country, suspending its decision by the restrictions imposed by lower courts, which gives abortion advocates some time. A conservative federal judge appointed by Trump in Texas banned women from taking Mifepristone in the United States, based on a complaint by anti-abortion activists.

in the most important intervention to the US Supreme Court In the case of abortion since it revoked its constitutional guarantee in June 2022, the court decided on Friday to temporarily maintain the use of abortion pills in the United States, suspending restrictions imposed by lower courts, giving abortion advocates some time.

It was the federal government I resorted to the Supreme Court Quick to stop judgments first and that’s what happened.

And only two conservative judges on the court, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, expressed their disagreement with the decision, which was taken by the majority of the nine justices on Friday. The Supreme Court’s decision means, in particular, that American women will be able to continue to obtain Mifepristone, the name of the abortion pill, by mail in states where abortion remains legal, but the legal battle over abortion pills will continue with great enthusiasm.

New session in May

Democratic President Joe Biden avoided any enthusiastic announcement of this interim victory but commented on freezing measures for now that “could have undermined the FDA’s medical ruling and endangered women’s health.” Planned Parenthood said it was “good news” but “the facts haven’t changed: access to mifepristone should not have been threatened in the first place”.

For her part, Elisa Wells, founder of Plan C, the abortion pill information network, said that this decision “does not erase the chaos, confusion and fear that this case was intended to raise.” “Even if mifepristone tablets remain on the market today, the ability to perform abortions is still severely and unfairly restricted in a number of states,” she added in a statement.

In contrast, one conservative and anti-abortion group, the Freedom Defense Coalition, said the FDA should be “accountable for the harm it has done.” “Our case, which seeks to put women’s health before politics, continues in the lower courts,” she wrote. A New Orleans appeals court hearing is scheduled for May 17.

More than five million American women have taken mifepristone since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration more than 20 years ago.

Court against court

This legal problem began when, on April 7, a federal judge in Texas known for his conservative Christian faith and hardline positions, appointed by Donald Trump, revoked the marketing authorization of Mifepristone, based on a complaint by anti-abortion activists.

Despite the scientific consensus, the judge decided that it posed a risk to the woman’s health. A New Orleans appeals court, which the federal government then resorted to, allowed the abortion pill to remain licensed, but with limited access to the pill that the Food and Drug Administration had granted over the years. Its ruling means a ban on mailing and reintroduction of these pills until the seventh week, rather than the tenth week, of pregnancy.

Joe Biden’s government quickly resorted to the Supreme Court, which decided a week ago to temporarily maintain the distribution of abortion pills and suspended the appeals court’s decision in order to allow more time to examine the file. To complicate matters further, a federal judge in Washington state appointed by Barack Obama ruled immediately after his colleague in Texas decided that the drug was “safe and effective” and prevented the Food and Drug Administration from withdrawing its license in 17 states and the capital.

Canada is ready to help

The first suspension decided by the Supreme Court was in effect until just before midnight on Wednesday. But in what would be a sign of deep disagreements, Judge Alito announced on Wednesday that it would be extended by 48 hours until “23:59 on Friday, April 21”.

The court can decide to suspend or uphold decisions of other courts, take over the case, or refuse to intervene. Abortion pills are no longer officially available in the 15 US states that recently banned abortion, although there are devious ways to obtain them. Thus, the impact of restrictions or bans on these pills matters for states where abortion is still legal and most of them are democratic.

Even in neighboring Canada, the issue is causing concern. Canadian Family Minister Karina Gould reiterated that her country intends to help American women if needed.

France 24/AFP

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