Partisans weigh in as Supreme Court protects abortion pill 

by Will Tubbs

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

In the latest round of the ever-intensifying battle over abortion in the United States, the Supreme Court this week ended a lawsuit that challenged the FDA’s regulation of one of the two drugs most commonly used in abortions. 

Thursday, the court ruled 9-0 that anti-abortion doctors and healthcare professionals did not have the legal standing to sue on behalf of their patients over the FDA approving mifepristone. It was a definitive win for the pro-abortion side and a major setback for pro-life, but the court’s decision did little, if anything, to quell the battle. 

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing for the court, said that  “federal courts are the wrong forum for addressing the plaintiffs’ concerns about FDA’s actions.”

The plaintiffs in this case were all avowed pro-life activists who argued the FDA had inappropriately approved the use of mifepristone, which the plaintiffs said was rife with complications for patients. 

“We are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not reach the merits of the FDA’s lawless removal of commonsense safety standards for abortion drugs,” said Erin Hawley, counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who argued the case. “Nothing in today’s decision changes the fact that the FDA’s own label says that roughly one in 25 women who take chemical abortion drugs will end up in the emergency room — a dangerous reality the doctors and medical associations we represent in this case know all too well. The FDA recklessly leaves women and girls to take these high-risk drugs all alone in their homes or dorm, without requiring the ongoing, in-person care of a doctor.”

Kavanaugh, on behalf of the court, did not weigh in on the validity of the claims. He stated only that the plaintiffs had failed to establish that they were the correct parties to sue in this venue.  

“Under Article III of the Constitution, a plaintiff’s desire to make a drug less available for others does not establish standing to sue. Nor do the plaintiffs’ other standing theories suffice,”  Kavanaugh wrote. “The plaintiffs have sincere legal, moral, ideological, and policy objections to elective abortion and to FDA’s relaxed regulation of mifepristone,” he said. “But under Article III of the Constitution, those kinds of objections alone do not establish a justiciable case or controversy in federal court.” 

FIGHT FAR FROM OVER

The court might have ended the pro-life activists’ case, but there is still a real chance the court hears a similar argument over mifepristone. 

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a federal judge in Texas who oversaw the case in the lower court, allowed Missouri, Idaho and Kansas to join the case as plaintiffs. The Supreme Court did not rule against the states’ rights to sue, meaning any of the three can take up the cause. 

The Kansas City Star reports that at least Kansas and Missouri’s attorneys general will continue the fight, and the Associated Press reports that Hawley believes Idaho is likely to do the same. 

“While we’re disappointed with the court’s decision, we will continue to advocate for women and work to restore commonsense safeguards for abortion drugs — like an initial office visit to screen for ectopic pregnancies. And we are grateful that three states stand ready to hold the FDA accountable for jeopardizing the health and safety of women and girls across this country,” Hawley told Fox News.

RULING LEAVES NEITHER SIDE HAPPY

If the Supreme Court hoped to satisfy pro-abortion advocates with its ruling, the result was a resounding failure. 

Progressive politicians and pro-abortion advocates lined up Thursday to say they are unsatisfied. Nothing short of a federal guarantee of abortions nationwide will satisfy the left on this issue. 

Far-left Slate.com said the “ruling should satisfy nobody” and Politico collected a list of Democrats who all vowed to fight on against pro-life policies. 

“Extremists have launched frivolous legal battles to rob women of their right to safe, effective abortion pills,” Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) posted on X. “While this decision is an important step forward, we cannot stop fighting until these attacks on our reproductive freedom end.”

Perhaps owing to their desire to avoid the abortion question through the 2024 election cycle – which would be in keeping with the wishes of former President Donald Trump – Republican politicians have been largely silent thus far. 

Most of the pro-life comments are coming from organizations that focus exclusively on the right to life. 

“Abortion drugs send approximately 1 in 25 women to the ER, according to the FDA’s own label, yet the abortion lobby gaslights women about the risks and seeks to block states from even collecting safety data,” The Washington Times quoted Katie Daniel, state policy director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, as saying. 

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