A distributor of the drug has intervened in the legal dispute over the abortion pill mifepristone in the USA. The company Danco Laboratories yesterday asked the country’s Supreme Court to examine the substance of the case and lift threatened access restrictions. This emerges from a relevant court document. It says the case is of enormous importance for girls and women, health facilities and the states.

An appeals court imposed access restrictions for the drug in mid-August. These restrictions have not yet come into force because the legal dispute continues. The appeals court ruled that certain access relief measures that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued in 2016 should be revoked. These include sending the pill by post and taking it without a medical professional.

The drug has been approved since 2000

Mifepristone was approved in the United States in 2000 and is commonly used with the drug misoprostol for abortion. However, misoprostol can also be used alone. The World Health Organization only recommends this if mifepristone is not available. According to the FDA, mifepristone is a reliable medication. Mifepristone can be sent by mail and taken at home.

Abortion opponents had sued against the approval of the pill. A judge in Texas appointed by then-President Donald Trump (Republican) then suspended the approval of mifepristone nationwide. This decision was seen as unusual because mifepristone has been approved and considered safe for more than two decades. The case eventually ended up in the Supreme Court. This did not decide on the matter – but ruled that access to the pill should be maintained as long as the legal dispute is ongoing.

Mifepristone became more important after abortion ruling

The move by the distributor Danco Laboratories could now help the Supreme Court deal with the substance of the case. The New York-based company sells the pills under the name “Mifeprex.” The Supreme Court has a conservative majority and will meet again in October after the summer break. Then a decision will be made about which cases he will accept.

Since the nationwide right to abortion was overturned by the court and so that the parliaments in the US states can regulate by law whether abortions are permitted, mifepristone has gained in importance. Many conservative states have almost banned or largely restricted abortions. Therefore, many pregnant women have had the medication prescribed via telemedicine, for example, to the annoyance of abortion opponents.