Supreme Court Momentarily Safeguards Mifepristone Amidst Abortion Pill Injunctions

Charley Levine, Staff Writer

On April 21, the Supreme Court resolved to momentarily safeguard mifepristone after an attempt by antiabortion groups to curb its availability. This stance has temporarily halted lower court rulings from proceeding as the appeal moves forward. On the evening of Friday, April 21, the Supreme Court reached the anticipated verdict, and women across the nation were relieved to receive promising word.

The decision to allow for the provisional circulation of the drug, however, was not an entirely harmonious one. According to The New York Times, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented. Though Thomas failed to provide a viable rationale for his stance, Alito was outspoken in expressing his distrust in the FDA’s claims. He bluntly stated that the FDA was merely leveraging the court system to achieve a sought-after policy. To further point fingers, he accused the FDA of bypassing necessary procedures in reconsidering the safety of mifepristone.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s consensus has eliminated restrictions on access to the drug imposed by an appeals court. These barriers–obstructing access by mail, shortening time frame for use, and requiring multiple doctor visits–have been rendered null until further notice. 

Because of the opposition amongst the justices, it is likely that the case will makes its way back to the court in the near future. Nonetheless, the ruling was a critical success for the Biden Administration and a momentous step forward in the fight to defend the credibility of FDA judgment and permit medication abortions for women across the nation. 

According to, Democratic-led states have promptly endeavored to stock up on the drug amidst a time of unprecedented uncertainty. The California government, for example, announced its acquisition of an emergency supply of misoprostol pills, a drug similar to mifepristone and effective in terminating a pregnancy, on Monday, April 10. Massachusetts and New York have followed suit.

With the fate of the drug in limbo, justices now take on reviewing a lower court ruling. Ultimately, if clarity is not achieved in the high court, access to the abortion drug will vary depending on the state. Either way, profound chaos and confusion have resulted from the case, and throughout the country calls for change have erupted. Because of the widespread attention the rulings have received, an urgency now surrounds the case. Americans may expect updates in the weeks to come as the case takes center stage in the courts.