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The US Supreme Court will issue its ruling on the abortion pill after a complex legal battle


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The US Supreme Court will issue its ruling on Wednesday on the widely used abortion pill, which has been at the center of a complex legal battle since it was banned a year ago by a Texas federal judge based on a complaint by anti-abortion activists. The latest chapter in the campaign by conservatives for the right to abortion concerns access to the drug “Mifepristone” in the United States.

The US Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on Wednesday The issue of the abortion pill It is widely used in the United States, which has become a complex legal battle since a federal judge’s decision to ban it sparked controversy.

Almost a year after its decision to abolish the right to abortion, the highest judicial authority in the United States, which has a conservative majority, will face an additional test on this issue, after President Joe Biden’s administration resorted to it to challenge contradictory decisions.

Within this context, Carrie Flaxman of the family planning organization Planned Parenthood criticized the unresolved “judicial give-and-take” and considered that it “affects access to safe, effective and long-approved medication, and creates chaos and confusion.”

The latest chapter in the campaign by conservatives for the right to abortion is access to Mifepristone across the country. These pills are used in combination with another medication, in more than half of all voluntary abortions in the United States. More than five million Americans have taken it since it was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration more than twenty years ago.

The drug “Mifepristone”

The court series began on April 7 when a Texas federal judge, acting on a complaint by anti-abortion activists, withdrew the FDA’s marketing authorization for Mifepristone. Contrary to the consensus of scholars, he said that this drug is dangerous to women’s health. He set a week before implementing his decision.

Based on a complaint by the US government, the appeals court allowed the abortion pill to remain licensed but revoked access facilities that the FDA had established over the years. In particular, this provision means that this drug is not sent through the mail and that it is used after the seventh week of pregnancy, rather than the tenth week.

And the Supreme Court decided on Friday to maintain the possibility of obtaining abortion pills by suspending the decision issued by the Court of Appeal to allow it to study the file. She explained that this suspension remains in force until midnight Wednesday-Thursday. The parties concerned were allowed to present their pleadings until the night of Tuesday-Wednesday.

A group of doctors opposed to abortion asked the Supreme Court in its pleading to confirm the decision of the Court of Appeal. The group, which includes gynecologists and pediatricians, considered that the FDA and the “Danko” laboratory, which produces “Mifepristone”, have “flagrantly violated applicable laws and regulations (…) and have consistently advanced politics at the expense of women’s health.” And he considered that “in the absence of a suspension decision, mifepristone will cause more physical complications, emotional trauma and even death in women.”

“Depriving women of basic freedoms”

For his part, Biden saw the judge’s decision in Texas as a transgression, stressing his determination to “fight” this step, which he described as “an unprecedented attempt to deprive women of basic freedoms.”

These abortion pills are no longer officially available in about 15 states that recently banned abortion, although they can be obtained in devious ways. Restricting or banning these pills will have an impact primarily on states where abortion is still legal, most of which are Democratic.

Many experts and officials in the pharmaceutical industry have expressed their fear that these judicial procedures will open the door to questioning other medical drugs. “It’s no longer unrealistic to say that a judge can wake up one morning and decide to take a drug off the market (…) A judge can do the same thing about vaccines or even antidepressants that they don’t like,” said former US Drug Administration official Josh Charftain.

France 24/AFP

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