Supreme Court Allows Rule Requiring Women to Pick Up Abortion Pill in Person

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a Trump administration request to reinstate a rule requiring women to go in person to pick up abortion pills.

The nation’s top court voted 6-3 to remove a lower court’s preliminary injunction on the Food and Drug Administration rule that requires women to pick up the abortion medication mifepristone from a hospital, clinic, or medical office and to sign a disclosure form. Mifepristone, also known as Mifeprex, is usually taken together with the medication misoprostol in order to end pregnancies up to 10 weeks after conception.

Mifepristone is subject to distribution restrictions to ensure the safe use of the drugs, according to the FDA. The pill is only supplied directly to health care providers that meet certain qualifications, and they are required to ensure that the woman has access to medical facilities for emergency care. The provider must also review and sign an agreement form with the patient.

In July, a district court judge issued an order that suspended the FDA’s in-person requirement for the drug for the duration of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other groups sued the Trump administration to block the enforcement of the rule, arguing that it poses serious and unnecessary risks due to the virus.

The court ruled along ideological lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing a concurring opinion in granting to lift the lower court ruling. Roberts said that it is not about a woman’s right to access abortion, but rather whether the district court had properly ordered the FDA to waive its in-person requirements.

Roberts wrote that he did not think courts had the “background, competence, and expertise to assess public health” to substitute its own evaluation over that of experts.

“In light of those considerations, I do not see a sufficient basis here for the district court to compel the FDA to alter the regimen for medical abortion,” he wrote.

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