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USA: Supreme Court to hear arguments in abortion pill case

The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether to restrict access to mifepristone, a commonly used abortion pill.

It is considered the most significant reproductive rights case since the court ended the nationwide right to abortion in June 2022.

The Biden administration hopes the court will overturn a decision to limit access to the drug over safety concerns raised by anti-abortion groups.

The pill has been legal since 2000.

The current legal battle in the top US court began in November 2022 when the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, an umbrella group of anti-abortion doctors and activists, filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

The group claims that mifepristone is unsafe and further alleges that the federal agency unlawfully approved its use in September 2000 to medically terminate pregnancies through seven weeks gestation.

Mifepristone is used in combination with another drug - misoprostol - for medical abortions, and it is now the most common way to have an abortion in the US.

Medical abortions accounted for 63% of all abortions in 2023, up from 53% in 2020, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

In total, more than five million US women have used mifepristone to terminate their pregnancies.

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Source: BBC News, 26 March 2024


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