High Court Rules in Abortion Drug Case, Confirms Abortion is in the Hands of the States

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a long-awaited ruling in the Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine appeal. In a unanimous decision, the Court granted full access to the human pesticide, mifepristone, marketed under the brand name Mifeprex and used in more than half of all U.S. abortions.

“Tragically, the grave practice of using deadly chemicals, much like the Nazis did to exterminate Jews in gas chambers during World War II, continues,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.  

The Court had an opportunity to overturn a federal appeals ruling that would have protected women from back-alley, mail-order access to the murderous poison. Such a ruling would have protected the lives of countless babies, even in states where unborn babies have little or no protection. 

The majority of the Court agreed that the plaintiffs, which included Operation Rescue, lacked legal standing, because the individuals and groups are not directly affected by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decisions. The Court, however, did not affirm the FDA’s decisions, beginning in 2016, to lift safety standards on the use of mifepristone. 

Operation Rescue’s most recent annual survey revealed that, from 2022 to 2023, the number of abortion facilities mailing the death-inducing drugs with no in-person visit or ultrasound, nearly doubled – from 94 to 184. If this Court case had been decided correctly, this dangerous trend would have been reversed. 

“It’s obvious that the Supreme Court punted on this case,” said Newman. “After over 50 years of making up abortion law out of whole cloth, the Supreme Court has made it clear it wants no part in deciding issues of abortion. Once and for all, the pro-life movement must understand that – apart from establishing the personhood of the baby at conception – abortion is not a federal issue.”