Thursday, August 27, 2020

FDA Asks SCOTUS To Stay Injunction On Medical Abortion Access

Yesterday the federal government filed with the U.S. Supreme Court an Application For A Stay of An Injunction (full text) in American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In the case, a Maryland federal district court issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement during the COVID-19 public health emergency of Maryland's in-person requirements that bar women seeking a medical abortion from obtaining mifepristone through a mail-order or retail pharmacy or to receive the medication by mail from their healthcare provider. The 4th Circuit refused to stay the injunction pending appeal. (See prior posting.) In its Application, the FDA argued in part:

Given that surgical methods of abortion remain widely available, the enforcement of longstanding safety requirements for a medication abortion during the first ten weeks of pregnancy does not constitute a substantial obstacle to abortion access, even if the COVID-19 pandemic has made obtaining any method of abortion in person somewhat riskier.

 The Hill reports on the Application. [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]