In a recent development, the Supreme Court has extended a temporary block on a lower court ruling, ensuring the availability of the key abortion pill mifepristone by mail for the time being. Justice Samuel Alito’s hold will last until midnight on Friday.
The delay may indicate division among the nine justices, as the court has not yet announced its final decision on the case. The legal battle involves a decision by Texas-based U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, which was celebrated as a significant victory for abortion opponents.
The Justice Department and Danco Laboratories, the manufacturer of the brand name version, Mifeprex, have requested the court to intervene and block the ruling.
Last week, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the FDA a partial win by not suspending the original approval. However, the court allowed some aspects of the decision to stand, including the prohibition of obtaining the drug by mail.
To secure a more permanent block on the lower court ruling, the Biden administration must obtain at least five votes from Supreme Court justices.
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