Justices say women can get abortion pill by mail, for now
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court announced Thursday that during the COVID-19 pandemic, women would still be allowed to receive an abortion pill by mail for the time being.
The lawsuit came about over the contradiction of two conservative judges who immediately granted a motion by the Trump administration to restore the requirement that women go to a hospital, clinic or doctor's office to receive a pill.
The court did little more than postpone its first abortion lawsuit since Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death last month. The court asked a judge in court to take a fresh look at the matter and decide within 40 days. This would lead to further complaints in the Supreme Court after the November 3rd election.
The court said in an unsigned statement that it had "put on hold" the administration's appeal.
The government is seeking permission to enforce a U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule. The government has suspended similar in-person visits for other medications, including opioids in some cases, but has refused to relax the rules for taking the abortion pill.
A federal judge in Maryland ruled in July that health care providers can arrange for mifepristone to be mailed or delivered to patients during the public health emergency declared by Secretary of State for Health and Welfare Alex Azar. The FDA has approved the use of mifepristone in combination with a second drug, misoprostol, to terminate an early pregnancy or to treat a miscarriage.
Judges Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they had approved the government's request. "It has been six weeks since the motion was filed, but the court refuses to make a decision," Alito wrote.
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