Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Biden administration signals fight over medication abortion

Sports & General Jun 25, 2022 10:45AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A pack of Mifeprex pills, used to terminate early pregnancies, is displayed in this picture illustration taken May 11, 2022. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/Illustration 2/2

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden's administration indicated it will seek to prevent states from banning a pill used for medication abortion in light of the Supreme Court ruling overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, signaling a major new legal fight.

The administration could argue in court that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of mifepristone, one of the pills used for medication abortions, pre-empts state restrictions, meaning federal authority outweighs any state action.

That same argument has already been raised by Las Vegas-based GenBioPro Inc, which sells a generic version of the pill, in a lawsuit challenging Mississippi's restrictions on medication abortion.

More than a dozen states plan to almost totally ban abortion with the Roe v. Wade precedent upended. In a stunning ruling, the conservative majority Supreme Court overturned Roe on a 5-4 vote on Friday, saying there is no right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution.

States will likely face other difficulties enforcing restrictions on medication abortion because women are still likely to be able to obtain the pills online or in other states.

Biden said in remarks after the Supreme Court ruling that the government would seek to protect access to medication abortion, saying efforts to restrict it would be "wrong and extreme and out of touch with the majority of Americans."

Attorney General Merrick Garland was more explicit about what Justice Department is eyeing, saying in a statement: "States may not ban mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy."

Mifepristone was approved for use in abortions by the FDA in 2000, long after Roe was decided in 1973. The pill, also known as RU 486, blocks the pregnancy-sustaining hormone progesterone while the other drug used, misoprostol, induces uterine contractions.

Greer Donley, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law who is an expert on reproductive rights, said the administration's stance "shows that they understand the stakes and are willing to pursue novel ideas."  

Even before Roe was overturned, states imposed restrictions on access to the pill. There are 19 states that require women to make an in-person visit to obtain the drug, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports the right to an abortion.

The FDA does not require an in-person meeting.

Legal experts say the law on preemption is murky because Congress has never said explicitly that FDA approval trumps state law as it has done in the context of medical devices. Therefore it would be left to courts to decide the question under a theory known as "implied preemption."

Wide availability of medication abortion in states that want to restrict or ban the procedure would be a major setback to anti-abortion campaigners who have long sought to ban abortion outright.

Attempts to challenge state restrictions could run aground at the Supreme Court, not only because the 6-3 conservative majority has shown its opposition to abortion rights but also because the justices are often skeptical about federal preemption claims.

With Roe overturned, states would also have more leeway to argue they have a separate interest in preventing abortions based on moral objections to abortion.

Biden administration signals fight over medication abortion
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email