WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — A federal appeals court handed down a ruling Wednesday that restricts mifepristone, one of the two main drugs used for medication abortion in the United States.
The ruling says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should roll back the use of the abortion drug mifepristone, but the new rules won’t take effect until the Supreme Court decides the next step in the case.
The Alliance Defending Freedom argued the lawsuit before the court.
“The court ruled that the FDA is required to protect their health by having common sense safeguards,” said Julie Blake, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Blake applauds the ruling and the restrictions, including “things like requiring a doctor, having office visits before receiving these pills and not letting them be given out through the mail.”
The court ruling also says the abortion pill can’t be prescribed after seven weeks of pregnancy or via telemedicine.
In a statement, Vice President Kamala Harris slammed the latest court decision, saying it places medically unnecessary barriers to the safe and effective drug.
Julie Sobel with the Kaiser Family Foundation says the second abortion medication, misoprostol, isn’t a part of this lawsuit.
“There are many clinics who only provide medication abortion so it could mean that more people have to travel further to seek procedures,” Sobel said.
Currently, misoprostol is used only in conjunction with mifepristone so, if the restrictions take effect, they could have an impact on people across the country.
“So, people in states where abortion is legal would now have to go in person to a clinic,” Sobel explained.
The justice department is asking the Supreme Court to review the decision.