Supreme Court Upholds Access to Abortion Pills, but Abortion Remains Under Attack

Abortion Care Network
5 min readJun 13, 2024

Today, the US Supreme Court did the right thing by upholding access to mifepristone in a unanimous decision in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration et al., the case challenging the availability of mifepristone, one of the drugs commonly used in medication abortions. Decades of research and everyday use by millions of Americans prove that abortion pills are safe and effective — any other decision would have been harmful, out of step with science, and clearly ideological.

Medication abortion remains available — but too many barriers still exist. Across the country, extremists continue to try to criminalize abortion and push care out of reach, and these continued attacks further over-extend already under-resourced independent clinics as they adapt, respond, and challenge these bans.

From the beginning, this case was a baseless, targeted attack on abortion access. It was always about attacking abortion access and never about safe medical practice. This case was brought by well-funded anti-abortion extremists with an agenda to deprive everyone across the country of the abortion care they need. Today, they lost this particular fight — but we know the attacks won’t stop.

We deserve better. We deserve more than misinformation and constant attacks — we deserve accurate information and access to care without barriers or interference. We deserve thriving, vibrant clinics in our communities and innovative, easy-to-access online care. Abortion care providers deserve support, safety, rest, and celebration. We all deserve access to safe and dignified health care — including abortion care — when and where we need it, with providers we trust, and with all the support and resources we need.

Anti-abortion groups are focused on banning abortion, no matter the harm — but the people who work at independent abortion clinics keep the health and safety of their patients at the center of their work. Cases like this one are a colossal drain on clinic resources — abortion providers and their allies should be able to focus all their attention and care on patients, rather than fighting constant, baseless political attacks. We should be able to focus on decreasing barriers to abortion care — not working day and night to preserve the status quo.

Medical best practices and the right to make decisions about our own bodies should never be up for debate in the courts. Any attempts to ban, restrict, or criminalize abortion are grounded in white supremacy, misogyny, and a desire to control people’s reproductive lives. Patients know what they need: when a person decides to end a pregnancy, they deserve to decide where, when, and how to end that pregnancy — not politicians, judges, or extremists.

This was the correct decision. This case was brought forward by plaintiffs who had no legal standing or stake in the matter. Their obvious motivation in bringing this case to trial was never out of concern for patient safety, but about furthering their agenda to ban all abortion. Mifepristone has over twenty years of proven safety and efficacy, whether it’s provided in-clinic, via telehealth, or sourced and self-managed by the patients themselves. This decision sends the message that the FDA’s rigorous medication approval process, abortion providers’ ability to guide medical decisions, and patients’ autonomy in deciding the course of their lives must be respected. While we are grateful for the decision today, we know that attacks on abortion rights continue and we will never stop in our efforts to ensure abortion is accessible to all. — Paulina Briggs, Executive Director, (she/ they), WE Health Clinic, Duluth, MN

We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision in this incredibly important case. By rejecting the Fifth Circuit’s radical, unprecedented and unsupportable interpretation of who has standing to sue, the justices reaffirmed longstanding basic principles of administrative law. In doing so, they maintained the stability of the FDA drug approval process, which is based on the agency’s expertise and on which patients, healthcare providers and the US pharmaceutical industry rely. The decision also safeguards access to a drug that has decades of safe and effective use. As the sponsor of Mifeprex® (mifepristone) tablets, the first and only brand-name drug approved for use in medical abortion, Danco is proud to have led the way in obtaining FDA approval of this essential reproductive health option and of modifications to the conditions under which it can be used. We thank the Court for its careful analysis and remain committed to developing and bringing to market safe and effective products in this crucial area of public health. — Abby Long, MPH (she/her), Vice President of Marketing & Operations, Danco Laboratories, LLC

While today’s decision is a win- this case should never have made it to the Supreme Court. Any and all abortion bans dehumanize pregnant people and degrade the human right to bodily autonomy. Today’s decision preserves access to medication abortion, but there are still too many barriers and bans in place for too many people. ACN members work hard to build a world free from judgment and shame. I continue to trust independent abortion providers, their patients, staff, allies like the vendors and manufacturers that played a vital role in this case, and our communities’ fight for abortion access and human rights . — Erin Grant (they/ them), Co-Executive Director, Abortion Care Network

While it’s good news that today’s decision maintains abortion access, access is still too limited. Today’s decision to uphold access to mifepristone is a relief, but this case should have never made it to the Supreme Court in the first place. The goal of this case, and every case in the anti-abortion pipeline, is to harm those in need of abortion care by banning care and closing clinics. For now, the court has preserved medication abortion access, and there are still too many obstacles preventing people from receiving the care they need. Abortion Care Network and independent abortion providers across the United States will continue to trust pregnant people to make informed decisions about their health and lives. We will continue our work until all people have equal and just access to care. — Nikki Madsen (she/ her), Co-Executive Director, Abortion Care Network

Abortion Care Network is dedicated to ensuring that independent abortion providers have the support they need to continue caring for all who need them. Help us support independent clinics across the country: KeepOurClinics



Abortion Care Network

Abortion Care Network supports independent abortion care providers in the United States. or on Twitter @AbortionCare