Abortion Access Just Had an Unexpected Win at the Supreme Court
The case for banning abortion medication was so weak, not even Amy Coney Barrett could get on board.
Good news for everyone who loves bodily autonomy: The Supreme Court actually picked the right side for once. That’s right, they decided to keep full access to the abortion medication mifepristone on the market in the United States by rejecting a lower court’s restriction on the drug while an appeal on the case works its way through the court system, which will inevitably end up back in the Supreme Court. (More on that in a second.) Frankly, I’m surprised, mainly at the breakdown of votes because it was a 7–2 decision, and I think we can all guess who the two who were against it were.
Yes, Samuel Alito, who simply hates anyone with a uterus, and Clarence Thomas, with his GOP mega-donor sugar daddy friend who also has a habit of collecting Nazi memorabilia, were the ones to vote against maintaining mifepristone access. Is anyone surprised there?
Here’s Alito’s dissent, if you want a laugh. Cry about it, you hateful man. Boo hoo. Per ABC News:
Alito’s dissent said the administration and manufacturer “are not entitled to a stay because they have not shown that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the interim.”
His tantrum also included a line whining about the Biden administration not honoring a ruling that denied access to the drug. Per AP News:
Alito questioned the argument that chaos would result, saying the administration “has not dispelled doubts that it would even obey an unfavorable order in these cases.”
Oh, OK. So you strip away the autonomy of at least half the country last summer and that’s not good enough for you. Now you want to come for more of our rights, and you’re whining in your dissent that the President (who by the by was elected by the people, unlike you, Alito) might not honor your unelected, unwarranted, un-legally sound opinion? Cool.
Alito is legitimately throwing a tantrum here in front of the entire world, simply because he doesn’t get to further punish people for seeking autonomy over their bodies. It’s bonkers.
I think we all agree with this sentiment:
As a reminder, mifepristone has been on the market in the United States for 23 years. Twenty-three years! They are just going after it now! Make it make sense! Not to go all tin-foil hat on anyone, but mifepristone is just one component of a medication abortion, and it’s actually the lesser component. After you take mifepristone, you then take misoprostol in order to complete the abortion procedure (mifepristone blocks progesterone in the body, which breaks down the lining in the uterus.) You can have a safe, effective abortion with just misoprostol, you’ll just probably have more side effects. (Not to downplay the side effects, they’re pretty horrible. Ask anyone who has had to take misoprostol, which is used frequently in gynecological procedures.)
Unlike mifepristone, however, misoprostol is used outside of gynecological health. Its on-label use is to “prevent ulcers in people who take certain arthritis or pain medicine.” So since everyone in this country can be prescribed it, the chances of a blanket ban on it are pretty slim. The hypocrisy here just goes to show, this is not about drug safety or harm to our bodies. This is simply about control over our bodily autonomy, and making it harder to make these decisions.
The White House, however, is quite pleased with the current state of affairs on mifepristone and released the following statement, per ABC News:
“As a result of the Supreme Court’s stay, mifepristone remains available and approved for safe and effective use while we continue this fight in the courts,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “I continue to stand by FDA’s evidence-based approval of mifepristone, and my Administration will continue to defend FDA’s independent, expert authority to review, approve, and regulate a wide range of prescription drugs.”
So what happens next?
This isn’t over—remember, the ruling only restores access while the appeals are happening. The case will most likely end up back at the Supreme Court. Right now, it heads to the 5th Circuit (which is very conservative and there are many Trump-appointed judges there. There is absolutely a reason these ghouls picked Texas to try this case because Texas feeds into the 5th Circuit.) to be heard on appeal from the lower court decision, which completely banned access to the drug. Arguments in the 5th Circuit will be on May 17th.
Whoever wins, the loser will absolutely appeal, and the next stop after that is back at the Supreme Court. The timeline from there is a little murky, per AP News:
Any appeal to the Supreme Court would follow within three months of a ruling, but with no deadline for the justices to decide whether to review the case.
This is where we should probably be happy that the vote on the appeal to allow mifepristone to stay on the market while the lawsuits play out was 7-2 because it means the other conservative Trump-appointed Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and even Amy Coney Barrett clearly thought this was a weak argument. Obviously, we can’t rely on those people to do the right thing, but let’s celebrate the small wins, and enjoy the fact that at least for now, mifepristone is available in America.
(featured image: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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