Justices seem skeptical of challenge to restrict access to abortion pill

Justices seem skeptical of challenge to restrict access to abortion pill

Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 16, 2022.

Patrick Semansky/AP

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Patrick Semansky/AP

Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 16, 2022.

Patrick Semansky/AP

A majority of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical Tuesday of arguments that a medical group challenging the FDA’s regulatory actions making abortion pills more accessible had standing to bring suit.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said the plaintiffs, the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, do not come “within 100 miles of the kinds of circumstances” needed to show standing.

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Justice Elena Kagan, appointed by President Obama, asked Erin Hawley, the lawyer for the anti-abortion group, who was injured by the pill. “You need a person,” she said.” Who’s your person?”

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Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, described the case as “a prime example of turning what could be a small lawsuit into a nationwide legislative assembly on an FDA rule or any other federal government action.”

At issue in the case is more than abortion rights. It’s the entire structure of the FDA’s regulatory power to approve drugs and continually evaluate their safety—a system that until now has been widely viewed as the gold standard for both safety and innovation.

This story will be updated.

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