Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

The abortion pill in front of American Supreme Court

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Mifepristone is one of two pills used for voluntary termination of pregnancy.< /p>Agence France-Presse

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The US Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that it is taking up the issue of the abortion pill, used in more than half of the abortions in the United States and the subject of an intense legal battle.

The high court will have to rule on an appeal court decision which reinstated restrictions on the use of the abortion pill . This decision could apply to all American states but is suspended for the moment.

The Supreme Court, the institution that decides major social debates in the United States, is expected to study the case in the coming months to render a decision by the end of its annual session in June 2024.< /p>

This will be the most important intervention of the Court, currently with a conservative majority, on the question of abortion since she canceled the constitutional guarantee of abortion in June 2022, which caused an earthquake in this country.

The White House was quick to react.

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President Biden and the vice-president remain firmly committed to defending women's access to reproductive care, his spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, said in a statement on Wednesday.

If the decision of the court of appeal, rendered in August in New Orleans, was confirmed, this would result in particular in a return to a maximum limit of seven weeks of pregnancy instead of ten to benefit from an abortion, by a ban on sending the abortion pill by post as well as by the reinstatement of the prescription obligation exclusively by a doctor.

The question is that of access to mifepristone (RU 486) which, combined with another pill, has been used by 5.6 million women since its approval by the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) in 2000.

The legal headache began when a federal judge in Texas, appointed by Donald Trump and known for his Christian faith as well as his ultraconservative positions, on April 7 withdrew the marketing authorization for mifepristone after being seized by anti-abortion activists.

Despite scientific consensus, he said he believed it posed risks for women's health.

The federal appeals court in New Orleans then allowed the abortion pill to remain authorized, but in limiting the access facilities granted by the FDA over the years.

It is this decision, for the moment suspended, which will be studied on the merits by the nine judges in Washington, at the request of the government of Democrat Joe Biden and the pill's manufacturer, the Danco laboratory.

We hope that the judges will maintain the scientific authority of the FDA in this baseless case, also reacted the information network on abortion pills Plan C. However, the current composition of the Court and its decision of June 2022 does not bode well for a decision.

The FDA has placed politics ahead of its duty to protect health and safety, with dramatic results, said Katie Daniel of the Susan B. Anthony organization, which opposes abortion rights. The FDA is not above the law and justice must be done for the damage it has caused, she added.

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court, with a conservative majority following the appointments made under the presidency of Donald Trump, overturned its Roe v. Wade, who since 1973 had guaranteed the right of American women to have an abortion and gave each state the freedom to legislate on the matter.

Since then, the country has been fractured between the twenty or so states that have banned or strictly restricted access to abortion, mainly located in the south and center of the country, and those on the coasts that have adopted new guarantees.

At the beginning of the week, a Texan with a risky pregnancy had to leave Texas, where abortions are prohibited with rare exceptions , to be able to abort, because her fetus suffers from a chromosomal anomaly associated with serious malformations. The fact that she had to flee her state to receive the care she needs is scandalous, judge Joe Biden said Tuesday.

More Half of abortions in the United States in 2020 were medical, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a specialist on the subject. Abortions performed with mifepristone and misoprostol within the permitted time frame are very safe and effective, all experts insist.

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