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HomeGeneralAbortion Opponents Back Up Arguments Against Abortion Pills With Scientific Study

Abortion Opponents Back Up Arguments Against Abortion Pills With Scientific Study

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Since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling in 2022, abortion rights have been kicked to the curb in several US states. While advocates argue it is a constitutional right, opponents claim it is unconstitutional and is murder.

A picture of Abortion opponents
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Consequently, several lawsuits have made their way into the Supreme Court, clamoring for or against abortion rights. Most recently, abortion opponents are seeking to convince the US Supreme Court to limit access to the abortion pill mifepristone. 

To support their arguments, the plaintiffs point to three studies by Gynuity Health Projects, a New York-based women’s health research group. They claim that the pill is unsafe despite its regulatory approval decades ago. However, the plaintiffs’ use of the research to limit the pill’s access is “bewildering.” 

Dr. Beverly Winikoff, Gynuity’s president, condemned the lawsuit, saying the researcher’s conclusions broadly support easier access to the medication. “They live on a different planet,” Winikoff said of the plaintiffs in an interview. “You can always distort information and say things that aren’t true.”

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However, the plaintiffs defend their presentation of the research findings. “We simply took the FDA’s characterizations of these studies,” said Erik Baptist, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, “And presented them to the court.” 

Notably, people take mifepristone with another drug called misoprostol to perform medication abortions. According to reports, the pill accounts for more than 60% of US abortions. The Tuesday, March 26, 2024 hearing saw the Supreme Court skeptical.

The court saw efforts to limit access to mifepristone, a medication first approved more than two decades ago, as shady. Also, justices from across the ideological spectrum questioned the anti-abortion doctors challenging medication. They asked whether they had sufficient legal grounds to bring the lawsuit.

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POLL—Should Abortion Be Legal in Most Cases?

During oral arguments, the government and the drug company that makes the medication emphasize its safety and focus much of their arguments on standing. Erin Hawley, a lawyer for the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, argued that mifepristone is dangerous.

Although multiple studies say it’s overwhelmingly safe, Hawley claimed the pill is unsafe. She claimed if complications emerge from medication abortions, it forces anti-abortion doctors into a tough spot. She said they have to choose between helping a woman with a life-threatening condition and violating their conscience.

In nearly 90 minutes of arguments, a consensus appeared to emerge that the abortion opponents challenging the FDA’s approval of the medication, mifepristone, and subsequent actions to ease access to it lack the legal right or standing to sue.

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ALSO READ: Woman Who Sued Texas Over Abortion Rights Speaks Out Before Biden’s State of the Union Address

During the hearing, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, the Biden administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer, said the court should dismiss the case. Furthermore, Prelogar said anti-abortion doctors and organizations don’t “come within 100 miles” of having standing.

According to reports, more than 6 million people have used mifepristone since 2000. It is one of two drugs used in medication abortions. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone and also primes the uterus to respond to the contraction-causing effect of another drug, misoprostol. 

The two-drug regimen ends a pregnancy through 10 weeks gestation. Amid the ongoing legal battle against it, healthcare providers have said they would switch to using only misoprostol. However, they claim misoprostol is somewhat less effective in ending pregnancies.

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