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Supreme Court asked to block abortion pill mifepristone appeals ruling

The Justice Department and the abortion pill distributor Danco Laboratories have asked the US Supreme Court to block an order from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that threatens access to mifepristone, the most common form of abortion in the US. The court last week temporarily reimposed restrictions on the drug, which will significantly limit access to it even in states where abortion is legal. The decision came after a federal judge suspended the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone. The national legal landscape surrounding mifepristone has become messy over the past week after Kacsmaryk in the U.S. Northern District of Texas and Judge Thomas Rice of the U.S. Eastern District of Washington issued conflicting orders last Friday. The Supreme Court will likely decide the legal status of the drug moving forward. The appeals court judges temporarily blocked mail delivery of mifepristone, re-imposed doctor visits on patients, and shortened the length of time patients can take the pill to the seventh week of pregnancy, down from 10 weeks before. Judges Kurt Engelhardt and Andrew Oldham, who were appointed by former President Donald Trump, voted for the restrictions.

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