WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is being asked to reverse an appellate ruling that would cut off mail-order access to a drug used in the most common method of abortion in the United States.
The case would be the first major abortion dispute decided by the Supreme Court since it overturned Roe v. Wade last year. That ruling has led to bans on abortion at all stages of pregnancy in 15 states, with some exceptions, and once cardiac activity can be detected, which is around six weeks, in two others.
In an appeal filed Friday, Danco Laboratories, the manufacturer of mifepristone, argued that federal judges should not second-guess the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug or the conditions under which it is dispensed. The Biden administration also was expected to file an appeal.
A federal appeals court ruling in August would revoke approval for sending the drug through the mail and would shorten, from the current 10 weeks to seven weeks, the time during which mifepristone can be used in pregnancy.
The justices previously intervened in the case in April to assure the availability of mifepristone while a challenge proceeds in the federal courts. The Supreme Court is widely expected to agree to hear the case and have the final word, probably by early summer 2024.