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Hyde-Smith denounces Supreme Court ruling on abortion pill access

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith says she will continue to challenge access to abortion drugs that pose "serious risks" (Photo courtesy of Cindy Hyde-Smith/Facebook)

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit on Thursday that challenged the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of the abortion pill, mifepristone.

The ruling means that the pill will still be available to patients without an in-person doctor visit. It’s a significant setback for the anti-abortion movement, whose leaders were attempting to restrict access to the pill.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., decried the decision on Thursday, calling the ruling a “disappointment” and making it clear that she will continue to challenge the lack of FDA regulations on chemical abortion drugs.

“The Supreme Court’s decision does not mark the end of our fight to protect women and girls from the lawless and reckless actions of the FDA in lifting basic safety regulation of these dangerous chemical abortion drugs,” Hyde-Smith said. “We know these drugs pose serious risks. The FDA’s own label warns that roughly one in 25 women who take mifepristone will need emergency medical care.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the opinion for a unanimous court, noting that the doctor’s and anti-abortion groups who challenged access to the drug did not have standing to sue.

“We recognize that many citizens, including the plaintiff doctors here, have sincere concerns about and objections to others using mifepristone and obtaining abortions,” Kavanaugh wrote. “But citizens and doctors do not have standing to sue simply because others are allowed to engage in certain activities – at least without the plaintiffs demonstrating how they would be injured by the government’s alleged under-regulation of others.”

Kavanaugh also wrote that, under the Constitution, “a plaintiff’s desire to make a drug less available for others does not establish standing to sue.”

Hyde-Smith did note that she was glad the court recognized “the conscious rights of physicians and affirmed that federal law protects doctors from being forced to participate in abortions.” She has remained at the forefront of the lawmakers attempting to restrict access to abortion pharmaceuticals.

Along with U.S. Representative August Pfluger, R-Texas, Hyde-Smith led the filing of a friend-of-the-court brief in this case, arguing that the FDA acted in violation of federal law in 2016 and 2021 when it endangered the health and safety of women and girls by deregulating mifepristone to broaden access to the chemical abortion drugs.

The ruling is first major Supreme Court case on reproductive rights since the court’s conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

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