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The Supreme Court Upholds Access to Mifepristone Amid Ongoing Abortion Rights Battle

by Jodi Enda June 14, 2024

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that women in the U.S. may continue to use mifepristone for abortion medications, a drug deemed “essential” by the World Health Organization. 

The WHO considers mifepristone and misoprostol, which are often used in combination, to be life-saving medications because they give women who live in places that restrict abortion an alternative to dangerous back-alley procedures. Nearly half of the 73 million abortions performed in the world each year are unsafe, and 39,000 women die as a result. 

Since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion two years ago, medication abortions have increased, particularly in states that have banned or restricted abortion access. In fact, they now account for at least 63 percent of abortions in the U.S.

Though mifepristone is legal in nearly 100 countries around the world, the fight isn’t over in America. The court left the door open for Republican attorneys general in Missouri, Kansas and Idaho to challenge access to the medication. If any of those lawsuits succeed, the millions of women who live in restrictive states would lose what for many has become the best option to terminate a pregnancy. 

Read more about the global implications of unsafe abortions here.

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