Tags: Abortion | Supreme Court | Trump Administration | ruth bader ginsburg | pro life | pro choice | reproductive

Supreme Court to Hear First Abortion Case Post-RBG

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(Xavier Ascanio/Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 01 October 2020 06:32 PM

The Supreme Court will soon hear its first abortion case post-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a staunch supporter of reproductive rights.

At issue is a nationwide injunction by a federal district court in Maryland. It prevents the Federal Drug Administration from enforcing requirements that certain medical abortion drugs be distributed only under the supervision of a certified healthcare provider in a hospital, clinic, or medical office, and only if the woman acknowledges in writing they have been advised of the drug's risks.

Justice Ginsburg died last Friday. 

President Donald Trump has been a pro life president and vowed to appoint Supreme Court judges who will weigh Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark ruling that protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

The Trump administration in August asked the Supreme Court to reinstate restrictions on abortion medication as it appeals a federal judge's ruling that temporarily suspended those limits nationwide due to the coronavirus pandemic – the FDA has maintained the in-person requirement for mifepristone for 20 years.

The drug is safe and rarely leads to complications, according to reproductive rights activists and health experts. Many women during the pandemic were allowed to access the medication for abortion through telehealth.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists this summer received a preliminary injunction from a Maryland judge barring the FDA from enforcing its in-person requirement.

"By causing certain patients to decide between forgoing or substantially delaying abortion care, or risking exposure to COVID-19 for themselves, their children, and family members, the In-Person Requirements present a serious burden to many abortion patients," Maryland Judge Theodore Chuang wrote in his July 13 decision.

The Department of Justice in its application to the Supreme Court, said "by suspending enforcement of the safety requirements on a nationwide basis, the district court has irreparably harmed both the government and the public more generally."

"Even if the FDA ultimately prevails on the merits [in the lawsuit], the risks to patients, and any harms that materialize, cannot be undone," the department said.

"Those costs outweigh any burdens associated with a one-time clinic visit to receive a drug that is merely one means of obtaining an abortion."

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The Supreme Court will soon hear its first abortion case post-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a staunch supporter of reproductive rights.
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Thursday, 01 October 2020 06:32 PM
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