Attorney General Letitia James hails Supreme Court ruling preserving access to mifepristone

June 14, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Attorney General Letitia James commends the Supreme Court's decision to preserve access to mifepristone, marking a significant victory for reproductive rights. Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP
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New York Attorney General Letitia James praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to maintain access to mifepristone, overturning a lower court ruling that would have restricted the drug’s availability. 

“This ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court marks a significant victory in protecting the reproductive rights of Americans and ensuring that science is the guiding light for medical decisions and rulemaking,” said Attorney General James. 

Attorney General James led a coalition of 24 attorneys general urging the Supreme Court to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s decision. The coalition’s amicus brief highlighted that the lower court’s ruling ignored decades of clinical research demonstrating the safety and efficacy of mifepristone. They argued that the FDA’s 2016 decision to approve a modified label and revise prescribing conditions was grounded in robust safety data and clinical experience.

The brief also underscored concerns that the Fifth Circuit’s decision could force many individuals to undergo more invasive procedural abortions, increase risks and costs, create confusion among healthcare providers, and hinder the development of other medications. James reiterated her office’s commitment to safeguarding reproductive rights, stating, “Abortion care is health care, and regardless of what happens on a national level, my office will always do everything in our power to protect and safeguard these rights for New Yorkers.”

The Supreme Court’s decision represents a notable setback for the anti-abortion movement, particularly as it comes after the Court’s conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. The ruling affirms that the doctors and anti-abortion groups challenging the FDA’s regulations on mifepristone did not have the standing to sue, a crucial point that could impact future legal challenges.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing the opinion for the unanimous court, emphasized that citizens and doctors do not have standing to sue simply because they disagree with legal activities allowed by the government. The decision means that mifepristone remains available on terms approved by the FDA.

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