Ibis responds to Supreme Court oral arguments in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine

March 2024 | Statement
March 2024

Cambridge, MA, March 26, 2024 – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments for the case Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine. If the Supreme Court upholds the ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, this case could lead to significant, medically unnecessary restrictions on access to mifepristone, one of two medications used in the most common regimen for medication abortion in the United States. It would also limit access to telehealth and pharmacy provision of medication abortion, both of which are safe, effective, and accessible ways of providing access to this proven medication abortion regimen. The Supreme Court’s decision is expected in June 2024, and for now, mifepristone continues to be available.  

Kelly Blanchard, president of Ibis Reproductive Health, released the following statement in response to the oral arguments: 

Decades of scientific and clinical evidence demonstrate that mifepristone is a safe and effective medication. Millions of people have used mifepristone to safely have medication abortions and, in addition to the FDA’s initial, rigorous review to approve mifepristone in 2000, it has conducted four subsequent reviews of mifepristone since. Each of these reviews has reached the same clear and full-throated conclusion that mifepristone is safe and effective, and it is essential that people be able to access it. 

This case is dangerous and unprecedented as it seeks to undermine the FDA’s authority to rigorously evaluate medications and ensure people’s access to them. Indeed, some of the key science for the plaintiffs in this case has now been discredited, underscoring that political views, rather than scientific evidence, are a driver behind the case. This case has already created confusion and fear among people seeking abortion care, as well as among providers of abortion care across the country. 

A ruling to overturn the FDA’s scientific judgement and revoke mifepristone’s approval would fly in the face of extensive scientific evidence, while doing nothing to advance health care or protect the health of pregnant people. Such a decision would be extreme politics at its worst. Mifepristone is currently used in more than 60% of abortion procedures across the United States. Restricting access to this safe and effective abortion care option would most greatly impact communities that face structural racism in our health care system and already face added barriers to care, including Black people, Indigenous peoples, AANHPI and Latine people, LGTBQ+ people, immigrants, those working to make ends meet, and people living in geographically isolated areas.  

Access to abortion is critical for bodily autonomy and people’s ability to build the lives and the families that they choose. Everyone should have access to the full range of abortion care options, and we sincerely hope that the Justices will follow the overwhelming scientific evidence in their consideration of this case and uphold the FDA's approval of mifepristone. Regardless of the outcome, Ibis is committed to continuing our work to identify innovative ways to expand access to abortion so that all people can access high-quality abortion care and choose the method that is best for them. 

While this case focuses specifically on mifepristone, for now, access to misoprostol remains unchanged in the United States. Misoprostol along with mifepristone comprise the WHO-recommended combined regimen for medication abortion, and misoprostol on its own is also a WHO-recommended, safe, and effective method of medication abortion. For more information about the safety and effectiveness of misoprostol-only medication abortion and its potential to protect and expand access to medication abortion, please see our resource hub