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Utah reactions to SCOTUS ruling on mifepristone access

Jun 13, 2024, 5:59 PM

SCOTUS ruling on mifepristone...

FILE: Boxes of mifepristone, the first pill given in a medical abortion, are prepared for patients at Women's Reproductive Clinic of New Mexico in Santa Teresa, U.S., January 13, 2023. (Evelyn Hockstein, Reuters via CNN)

(Evelyn Hockstein, Reuters via CNN)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the abortion pill mifepristone will remain available to consumers.

By Thursday afternoon, the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah reacted to the decision this afternoon. Shireen Ghorbani, with the Association, said she was surprised the case got to the Supreme Court.

“The individuals who brought this lawsuit together include a dentist. The reason they do not have standing is because they are not individuals who prescribe mifepristone,” she said. 

However, Ghorbani said this case could continue at the district court level with the same states as plaintiffs. 

Ghorbani said the case now goes back to the court that tried to end FDA approval of this particular abortion pill. 

Will SCOTUS ruling on mifepristone impact Utah?

Utah doesn’t have any specific bans on medical abortions or drugs like mifepristone. However, the state does have a near-total abortion ban that’s held up in court right now. 

University of Utah Alfred C. Emery Professor of Law, Leslie Francis said this ruling wouldn’t stop a state from trying to pass a law banning mifepristone. 

“It’s not about what states can do [or even] the FDA approval itself. It’s just about the people who brought this lawsuit don’t have the right kind of injury at stake,” said Francis. 

Francis just published a book on federalism, controversial issues and healthcare. She said the latest figures show that up to 63% of U.S. abortions are induced with mifepristone.

A report from the Guttmacher Institute, self-defined as a research and policy organization and described by the Pew Research Organization as “supporting abortion rights,” said that “medication abortion accounted for 53% of all facility-based abortions in the United States in 2020.

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Utah reactions to SCOTUS ruling on mifepristone access