Healthcare Women's Rights

Supreme Court rejects challenge to abortion pill accessibility

Source: NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday tossed out a challenge to the FDA’s rules for prescribing and dispensing abortion pills.

By a unanimous vote, the court said the anti-abortion doctors who brought the challenge had failed to show they had been harmed, as they do not prescribe the medication, and thus, essentially, had no skin in the game.

The court said that the challengers, a group called the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, had no right to be in court at all since neither the organization nor its members could show they had suffered any concrete injury.

Listen to NPR’s Morning Edition segment below.

Writing for the court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh dismissed every conceivable argument that the anti-abortion doctors had advanced claiming they had a right to sue.

They had contended that there is a statistical possibility that some physicians would be called upon to treat emergency room patients suffering from complications after taking abortion pills. But Kavanaugh noted that federal law explicitly says that doctors cannot be forced to perform or assist in abortions, or to treat patients with complications from mifepristone. Moreover, he said, doctors “have never had standing to challenge FDA drug approvals simply on the theory that use of the drug by others may cause more visits to the doctor.”

Similarly, he said that doctors have no generalized right to sue because they object to a general government policy. To illustrate the point, he said that if the government raises the speed limit, emergency room doctors couldn’t challenge the policy on grounds that it increased the number of automobile accident cases.

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