Nevada Dems urge Supreme Court to protect access to abortion pills

FILE - Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on March 16, 2022. Attorney generals in 20 conservative-led states warned CVS and Walgreens on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, that they could face legal consequences if they sell abortion pills by mail in those states. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)

By Lorraine Longhi

February 7, 2024

Nevada’s Democratic congressional lawmakers are urging the Supreme Court to protect access to a popular medication abortion pill.

Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, a Texas case filed by anti-abortion advocates, challenged the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, a drug used to end pregnancy via medication abortion.

Medication abortion, which is approved for use through 10 weeks of pregnancy, accounts for more than half of all abortions in the US, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy group that works to expand reproductive rights.

The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case next month, and Nevada Democratic Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen and Reps. Steven Horsford, Susie Lee, and Dina Titus are among the lawmakers urging the nation’s highest court to protect access to the drug.

In an amicus brief–or a submission to the court written by those with a relevant perspective to the case–263 congressional lawmakers cited the Federal Drug Administration’s consistent affirmations that mifepristone is safe and effective. 

Following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, abortion has become inaccessible in much of the United States, lawmakers wrote. If the court upholds the decision to restrict access to mifepristone, it would impact women across the country, even in Nevada, where abortion is legal.

The original lawsuit challenged decisions by the FDA to broaden access to the pill, including by accessing a prescription via telehealth and having it delivered through the mail. 

The lawmakers said they had a special interest in upholding the Constitution’s separation of powers and protecting the physical health and safety of their constituents, also saying that the limited availability of mifepristone would have an acute impact on Black mothers, who have the highest maternal mortality rate in the country.

“…the misguided stay of mifepristone’s current FDA-approved conditions of use will reduce access to abortion, exacerbating an already significant reproductive health crisis,” the members wrote in the brief.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on March 26.

Reach the reporter at [email protected].

  • Lorraine Longhi

    Lorraine Longhi is a reporter for The Nevadan and native of the southwest. A graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, she spent eight years reporting in Arizona, including at The Arizona Republic and The Copper Courier, where she covered education, health care and state politics. She returned to Las Vegas, her hometown, last year as an education reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where she was later promoted to assistant city editor

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