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  • 1440 Daily Digest

SCOTUS Weighs Abortion Pill

The US Supreme Court will hear arguments today on whether to restrict access to abortion medication mifepristone, a technique used for roughly 60% of abortions in the US last year. A 2023 lower court ruling to ban pandemic-era mail deliveries and telemedicine prescriptions of the drug, as well as limit its use to seven weeks, was put on hold in April. A high court decision is expected in June.

Mifepristone is an oral pill taken within 10 weeks of conception that blocks production of progesterone, an essential hormone in early pregnancy. Four pills of a second drug, misoprostol, are taken 24 to 48 hours later to empty the uterus. Plaintiffs argue the Food and Drug Administration failed to adequately study the drug's safety before approving it in 2000. The FDA reports five deaths for every 1 million users, a rate lower than the commonly used antibiotic penicillin.

Since the Supreme Court removed federal protections for the procedure in 2022, abortions have increased nationwide, even as 14 states have passed total bans.

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