ATLANTA — The abortion pill will continue to be available, with no new restrictions, for now.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that access to Mifepristone will remain in place while a lawsuit to try to ban the pill continues, in the lower courts -- a process that will likely take months to resolve.
“What that means is, business as usual,” said Alicia Hughes of Emory Law School in Atlanta.
Professor Hughes told 11Alive Friday that the decision gives medical providers some certainty that, for now, they won’t be arrested, after all, if they prescribe Mifepristone, "telling doctors, please continue as you have been.... with the administration of the pill, up 10 weeks into a pregnancy."
Mifepristone is also used to treat patients who have certain cancers, and abnormal bleeding.
And medical providers, like Dr. Patricia Kelly Marsh of Ask Me Your MD, Inc., say those treatments are at risk if the courts ultimately ban the pill’s use for abortions.
“It's going to be really hard to determine if we will be criminalized for using the medication for non-abortion causes,” Dr. Marsh said Friday.
Mifepristone has been approved for use in the U.S. since 2000.
But the legal attacks against the pill intensified in the past few months, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade -- and that ruling helped make Mifepristone the next target of those fighting to ban medication abortion.
“I believe obviously the abortion pill is wrong no matter what, because it ends the life of an innocent human being,” said pro-life advocate Suzanne Guy of Atlanta.
So, it’s likely that the fate of the abortion pill will end up back in the U.S. Supreme Court for a final ruling, once the attempts to ban it are done making their way through the lower court, probably months from now.