Opinion: Supreme Court Continues Dismantling Abortion Rights

Opinion: Supreme Court Continues Dismantling Abortion Rights

Sam Luba, Editor

Editor’s Note: As of April 21, the Supreme Court has stepped in and returned the legality of Mifepristone back to the status quo; however, the commentary in this article that the original decision was a clear overreach of power, and the fact that it had to go to the Supreme Court at all is a gross injustice

Texas Federal District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ignorantly reversed the FDA’s approval of the drug Mifepristone on April 7th, after Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group, filed a lawsuit challenging the safety of the drug, according to an ABC News Report. 

Mifepristone is a drug taken in tandem with another drug, Misoprostol, in order to help people have medical abortions, and it has been in use for the past 23 years with no safety concerns.

Despite this, Judge Kascmaryk ruled that the FDA didn’t study the drug close enough before its usage and that it was unsafe, and the repercussions of this decision are numerous. 

According to Katie Kindelan of ABC News, the effect of this would be as follows: “In states where abortion is legal, providers would only be able to offer in-clinic surgical procedures or opt to provide medication abortions using only one other medication, misoprostol.”

Unfortunately, the usage of only misoprostol for medical abortions is far less effective and carries a multitude of negative side effects with it. 

However, beyond the real, tangible effects of this decision, there are many larger, broader issues that arise when this decision is closely examined.

The first of these issues comes forward when looking at the relation between this decision and the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court in the summer of 2022. 

In the overturning of that case, the Supreme Court placed the legality of abortions back into the hands of the states.

However, with this recent decision, a very vital part of medical abortions is being banned, not just in Texas, but nation-wide.

This shows a clear extension of the precedent set in Roe v. Wade’s overturning, which was already seen as a very conservative ruling. 

Fortunately, more liberal leaning states have already been fighting back, such as with California’s stockpiling of massive amounts of mifepristone, according to California Governor Gavin Newsom, but the fact that the issue has come to that is an injustice in its own right.

Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision willfully ignored more than two decades worth of evidence regarding mifepristone’s safety simply to advance his personal beliefs. 

In fact, according to PBS News Hour, “There is essentially no precedent for a lone judge overruling the medical decisions of the Food and Drug Administration.”

Democrats have been quick to attack the decision as well, with Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon saying, “The decision is instead rooted in conservatives’ dangerous and undemocratic takeover of our country’s institutions.” according to a Rolling Stone article. 

Luckily, the Department of Justice has already made steps towards appealing the decision, according to that same Rolling Stone article.

However, given the Supreme Court’s conservative leanings and recent decisions, such as the aforementioned overturning of Roe v. Wade, it would not be impossible to foresee a situation where this ruling stands.

No matter any personal stance on abortion, what is so distressing about this situation is how clear of an overreach of power it is.

The decision is rooted entirely in the personal and religious beliefs of Judge Kacsmaryk without a shred of precedence nor scientific evidence to back it up.

That is the absolute antithesis on what the “final word of the law” should be in America. 

However, as it stands now, Americans can do little but sit and wait to see the final fate of mifepristone and abortion as a whole in this country.