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Anti-abortion activists sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in federal court over the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, one of two medications most commonly used in a medication abortion. Mifepristone is safe and effective and has been used by more than 5 million people in the United States since the FDA approved it more than 20 years ago.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to consider the case in its current term. If the Court had not agreed to hear the case and the Fifth Circuit’s ruling had been allowed to stand, the decision would have turned back the clock on science, limiting access to medication abortion.

The Supreme Court’s decision to take up the Department of Justice and FDA’s petitions means mifepristone will remain on the market and accessible in states where abortion is legal for now.

The Court should reject this politically motivated effort to interfere with the FDA’s approval process, which would put back in place medically unnecessary requirements for providing abortion.

This is yet another effort by people opposed to safe, legal abortion to interfere with the health care provider and patient relationship, and could make it more difficult for patients to get the medical care they need and deserve.

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  • Tell our courts we expect fair-minded judges to protect access to this safe and effective medication.

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Medication abortion helps patients to manage their abortion safely, on their own terms, and has expanded access to reproductive health care. There are two ways to have a medication abortion — both are safe and effective at ending an early pregnancy.  

Mifepristone is safe, effective, and has been used by more than 5 million people in the U.S. since the FDA approved it more than 20 years ago, but it is not the only method of medication abortion available.  

Misoprostol-only medication abortion has been used successfully for many years and is the primary method of medication abortion in many parts of the world where access to mifepristone is restricted.  

While mifepristone and misoprostol is the most effective, well-studied medication abortion regimen in the United States, using misoprostol only is just as safe, with a serious complication rate less than 1%. 

The medication abortion process is very similar to using mifepristone and misoprostol together, though using misoprostol alone can be a longer process for patients and requires more doses of the medicine. 

Millions of people have used misoprostol for decades to end early pregnancies safely and effectively. Respected medical organizations like The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Ipas, Society of Family Planning, and the World Health Organization agree that misoprostol-only abortions are a safe way to have a medication abortion. 

Besides abortion, misoprostol has other medical uses — like miscarriage management and preventing and treating ulcers. It poses no risk to future pregnancies or to someone’s overall health.  

The bottom line is medication abortion is safe and effective — whether with both medications or just one.

Learn more about medication abortion

Tags: SCOTUS, medication abortion, mifepristone

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