OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 1:35 PM – Wednesday, April 19, 2023
The United States Supreme Court has extended the temporary pause that were placed on the restrictions to the abortion pill, mifepristone, on Wednesday.
Justice Samuel Alito, who had previously halted the lower court ruling which sought to limit access to the abortion drug, wrote that the pause would remain in place until midnight on Friday, April 21st.
The decision by Justice Alito comes just hours before the five-day pause that was in place was set to expire.
The justices were expected to issue an order before midnight on Wednesday in the fast-moving case from Texas. Abortion opponents in Texas are seeking to roll back the approval and availability of the abortion drug.
Mifepristone had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. Under President Joe Biden, the FDA had made the drug more widely available, including at retail pharmacies and delivery by mail.
On April 7th, Texas based District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk sided with the pro-life activist group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and issued an injunction, suspending approval of the drug. The judge had ordered the FDA to pause the drug’s approval while the lawsuit that challenges the safety of the drug proceeded in court.
The ruling by Kacsmaryk had given the federal government seven days to appeal the decision. Biden immediately declared that his administration disagrees with the ruling, and will seek to fight the decision.
The Justice Department and Danco laboratories, the manufacturer of the drug, asked the Supreme Court to step in and overturn the Texas judge ruling.
On Friday, Justice Alito had blocked the Texas decision, placing a temporary pause on the restrictions, and making the abortion drug widely available again. The Supreme Court was initially set to give a ruling before midnight on Wednesday, which is when the pause was set to expire.
Due to the new extension of the pause, the abortion drug will remain available to the public, including by mail, until at least April 21st, the day that the Supreme Court is now set to give its ruling.
Justice Alito gave no reason or explanation for the extension.
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