U.S. Supreme Court says plaintiffs do not have standing to sue FDA in mifepristone case

June 25, 2024
Area(s) of Interest: Reproductive Freedom 

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the plaintiffs in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lack standing to sue over the FDA’s approval of the abortion medication, mifepristone. The case had threatened to restrict access to medication abortion across the country, including in states where abortion remains legal.

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision is welcome news, as it will preserve access to the medication mifepristone, which has been used in nearly two-thirds of all abortions in the U.S. last year, and safeguard patients’ rights to evidence-based reproductive health services,” said gynecologist and President of the California Medical Association (CMA) Tanya W. Spirtos, M.D.

The legal battle over access to mifepristone is far from over, however, as efforts to ban or severely restrict abortion continue nationwide and states continue to pass bans and restrictions to abortion, including medication abortion. 

“This decision is not cause for celebration, or frankly, true relief,” said Jodi Hicks, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “People in almost half of the states across the country have little or no access to abortion following the Dobbs decision two years ago. This entire case proves once again that anti-abortion extremists will go to any length to try to restrict abortion access nationwide– even as far as suing the FDA and challenging their long-standing authority and expertise to approve medications.”

Mifepristone is a safe and effective drug that has been used by millions of Americans since the FDA approved its use more than 20 years ago. Limiting the availability of mifepristone would have had devastating health impacts and further intruded on the private health choices of patients.

“As physicians, we at CMA believe it is essential that patients have access to vital, often lifesaving, reproductive health care. CMA stands committed to protecting the fundamental right to access reproductive health services. We will continue to work to ensure that personal medical decisions are made by patients in consultation with their health care providers.” 


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