Supreme Court Preserves Mifepristone Access for Now 

Press Release

Issues

Reproductive Rights


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2023 – Today the Supreme Court issued a stay blocking both lower court rulings that would have limited access to mifepristone, one of two drugs used in many abortions. 

The FDA approved this incredibly safe drug over 20 years ago, but conservatives strategically brought a challenge to Trump-appointed judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who tried to use his power to block the approval nationwide. A 2–1 Trump judge majority on the Fifth Circuit then curtailed Kacsmaryk’s ruling but arbitrarily imposed other limitations on mifepristone access. Simultaneously, a court in Washington ordered the FDA not to change its access to mifepristone whatsoever, forcing the Supreme Court to intervene and resolve the conflict. 

Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement: 

“It’s reassuring to see that even the extreme conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the rulings against mifepristone should not stand. This hopefully bodes well that the Court’s ultimate decision will recognize that the Trump extremists on the lower courts had no legal basis for blocking mifepristone. It’s disturbing to see that two justices would have tolerated this massive disruption indefinitely. We can’t function as a democracy if judges can simply impose their own will over the country’s medical experts. 

“Let us not forget that the attacks on abortion access, LGBTQ+ health care, and other issues will keep coming from the right. They are confident that the courts are rigged in their favor and they can impose their will even when a majority of the country rejects their position. That is why we must continue the work of reforming our courts and filling every vacancy with highly qualified judges fully committed to equality under the law. It’s the only way to break this constant cycle of despair where more rights hang in the balance.”