The Texas case that could cut off access to the most commonly used abortion medication has started on a path through the legal system that could quickly lead to the Supreme Court.
Updated: 4/19/2023, 7 a.m. ET
Today, more than half of all abortions in the U.S. involve patients taking a combination of two medications — mifepristone and misoprostol — in order to end a pregnancy at home. This protocol, called medication abortion or colloquially, the abortion pill, has been used by around 5 million women since the FDA first gave its stamp of approval to the practice in 2000.
Now, medication abortion is in jeopardy. A rapidly-moving court battle that began when a U.S. District Judge appointed by former President Trump suspended the FDA’s decades-old approval of mifepristone is headed to the Supreme Court.
Read on to learn more about the unprecedented nature of the case, how abortion clinics are responding, the potential consequences for how drugs are regulated in the U.S., and the possible electoral calculus of another landmark court decision on abortion less than a year Roe v. Wade was overturned.
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The federal judiciary is currently engulfed in a battle over the fate of mifepristone, the first of two drugs used in a medication abortion.
Companies responsible for making and distributing the abortion pill mifepristone face significant uncertainty in the wake of conflicting court rulings.
In the months since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Clinic, more and more women have safely ended their pregnancies at home, without ever setting foot in an abortion clinic.
Several Democratic governors have moved swiftly to protect access to medication abortion in their states.
Abortion clinics are preparing to administer just one pill, misoprostol, to terminate pregnancies if a federal judge's ruling goes into effect suspending the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, the other drug used in a medication abortion.
With the future of abortion pills in legal jeopardy, more Americans say medication abortion should be legal than illegal in their state.