Supreme Court dismisses abortion pill challenge, opens door to lawsuit by states

 June 14, 2024

This week saw America's highest judicial body dismiss a lawsuit which challenged regulations allowing for easier access to mifepristone, a drug used to cause an abortion.

Yet while the Supreme Court ruled that a group of pro-life doctors did not have standing to bring suit, it left the door open for states to do so. 

Rules allow for less oversight and later chemical abortions

Breitbart noted that the case concerned regulatory changes made during the administrations of President Barack Obama in 2016 and President Joe Biden in 2021.

Under those changes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed nurse practitioners and other health care providers to prescribe the drug for abortions at up to 10 weeks in a pregnancy rather than the old limit of six.

The FDA also created a new dosing regime which brought the number of required in-person visits from three down to one.

In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, ruled that the plaintiffs could not show they had a constitutionally recognized interest in challenging those rules.

Doctors did "not establish standing to sue"

"Several pro-life doctors and associations sued FDA, arguing that FDA’s actions violated the Administrative Procedure Act," Kavanaugh acknowledged.

"But the plaintiffs do not prescribe or use mifepristone. And FDA is not requiring them to do or refrain from doing anything," he pointed out.

"Rather, the plaintiffs want FDA to make mifepristone more difficult for other doctors to prescribe and for pregnant women to obtain," the justice continued.

"Under Article III of the Constitution, a plaintiff's desire to make a drug less available for others does not establish standing to sue," Kavanaugh stressed.

He went on to remark that "[t]he threshold question is whether the plaintiffs have standing to sue under Article III of the Constitution."

Pro-life doctors cannot be forced to prescribe abortion pills

"The requirement that the plaintiff possess a personal stake helps ensure that courts decide litigants’ legal rights in specific cases, as Article III [of the Constitution] requires, and that courts do not opine on legal issues in response to citizens who might roam the country in search of governmental wrongdoing," Kavanaugh declared.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court affirmed that federal law "will shield a doctor who doesn’t want to provide care in violation" of his or her conscience.

Breitbart observed that justices did not preclude the possibility that other plaintiffs, such as state governments, could have standing to file a similar challenge.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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