The US Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether women should have access to abortion pills during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that a lower court’s decision to allow it was wrong.
The Justice Department filed a petition seeking review of a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that allowed providers to offer medical abortion drugs through mail order online platforms while abortion clinics remain closed due to the pandemic. The government argued that the court’s decision could allow for “illegal, unsafe, and non-FDA approved uses of abortion drugs” and put “women’s health and safety at risk.”
The government has argued that because the abortion pill is considered a controlled substance under federal law, it should be regulated. They argue that the Ninth Circuit’s decision violates federal regulations and puts women’s health and safety at risk by allowing providers to dispense the drug without a valid prescription or proper medical supervision.
Legal experts say the case could have far-reaching implications for abortion access across the country. The Supreme Court could decide to take the case as early as next week. If the Supreme Court agrees to take the case, it could determine whether women have a constitutionally protected right to access the abortion pill without a doctor’s supervision during the pandemic.