Access to abortion pills has become a hot topic as the Supreme Court considers a case that could impact access to mifepristone, a key drug in medication abortion. President Joe Biden has highlighted this case as a reason for voters to reelect him, while Democrats warn of Republicans pushing for a national abortion ban. However, former President Donald Trump has remained silent on the issue, possibly due to the unpopularity of rolling back reproductive rights. Despite this, Trump’s influence can be seen in the appointment of anti-abortion judges who are advancing the case.

The case regarding mifepristone was initiated by a federal judge with extreme anti-abortion beliefs, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who suspended FDA approval of the drug citing misleading information. Under Trump’s administration, measures were taken to limit access to medication abortion, and the case eventually made its way to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals where Trump-appointed judges partly upheld the restrictions on mifepristone. The potential impact of this case has prompted concerns about the broader implications for abortion access nationwide.

With the possibility of a decision on the mifepristone case expected in late June, there are indications that Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas may be receptive to enforcing the Comstock Act, which could lead to further restrictions on abortion pills. Trump’s administration previously attempted to reinstate requirements for in-person abortion pill pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic. The former president is also considering supporting a national abortion ban if reelected, aligning with the agenda of anti-abortion leaders he worked with during his first term.

Mifepristone has been widely used in the U.S. since its FDA approval in 2000 and is considered safe and effective for abortion and miscarriage care. The drug, along with misoprostol, accounts for a significant portion of abortion care in the country. Despite over 100 studies supporting its safety and effectiveness, the mifepristone case poses a threat to its continued access. As Americans prepare for the 2024 presidential race, the future of abortion rights remains a significant issue that could be influenced by the outcome of this case.

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