Opinion: Can the FDA's Approval of an Abortion Pill Stop States from Banning It?!

Daniella Cressman
"More [than] half of all abortions in the United States are currently performed by taking a set of pills. The first, mifepristone, interrupts the hormones needed to continue a pregnancy; the second, misoprostol, expels the contents of the uterus. For decades, the FDA has approved both drugs to be used together to end pregnancies before 10 weeks. Over the years, the agency has repeatedly honed its regulations of mifepristone, setting specific regulations on who may prescribe it, and how it can be dispensed." —Madison Pauly

Roe v. Wade's decision on June 24, 2022 has paved the way for states to prohibit medication abortion, but there is a very important question that begs answering: Do individual states truly have the ability to ban medication that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration?!

"...The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization cleared the way for states to enact abortion bans, including prohibiting medication abortion. But do states really have the power to ban a medication approved and regulated by the FDA? This open question is poised to become an important new front in the legal wars over abortion, now that Roe v. Wade has been lost, according to Rachel Rebouché, interim dean of Temple University’s law school." —Madison Pauly

On Friday morning, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a statement saying that the Justice Department would use "use every tool at [its] disposal to protect reproductive freedom."

"One of those tools: The constitutional principle of 'preemption,' which could theoretically be applied to stop states from banning abortion medications, because the FDA already allows them." —Madison Pauly

In this fight, the constitutional principal of "preemption" could make an enormous difference for an enormous amount of people.

Towfiqu Barbhuiya

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