A group of doctors opposed to abortion asked the Supreme Court Tuesday to restrict access to a key medication abortion drug while other legal challenges play out, as Wednesday night’s deadline for the court to act approaches.
The filing means that after the Justice Department files a response expected Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, the court may rule at any time as the legal battle over mifepristone continues, nearly two weeks after a federal judge in Texas said the drug should not have been approved in 2000.
Last week, Justice Samuel Alito granted a request of the Biden administration and a manufacturer of the drug to put a temporary hold on the decision to give the justices more time to review the case. Alito asked to hear from the doctors and said the court would make its final determination by 11:59 p.m ET on Wednesday.
In the filing, the doctors asked the justices to ultimately deny the request from the Biden administration, arguing that for “nearly a quarter-century” the government and a manufacturer of the drug “have brazenly flouted the law and applicable regulations, disregarded holes and red flags in their own safety data, intentionally evaded judicial review, and continually placed politics above women’s health.”
Erik C. Baptist, a lawyer for the doctors, said that the US Food and Drug Administration had not done enough to study the safety of the drug.
“Across decades, the agency has stripped away every meaningful and necessary safeguard on chemical abortion, demonstrating callous disregard for women’s well-being, unborn life, and statutory limits.”
He said that the government’s argument amount to a “sky-is-falling-argument that compares chemical abortion to drugs like ibuprofen” and that the lower court rulings that restrict access to the drug were “meticulous decisions” that, he argued, “merely require the agency to follow the law. “