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Supreme Court upholds Trump administration request on abortion pills

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated the requirement that women seeking medical abortions must receive them in person from a medical provider, after that requirement was suspended in recent months due to the pandemic.

Miami World / EFE

The Court upheld a request by the government of outgoing President Donald Trump, which sought to restore the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provisions that women pick up the pills instead of receiving them by mail, as authorized by a judge as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency.

The conservative majority won 6-3 over progressives Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer.

“Of the more than 20,000 drugs approved by the FDA, Mifepristone is the only one that the FDA requires to be collected in person for patients to take at home,” Sotomayor and Kagan wrote in their dissent.

The magistrates questioned that government policy “now allows patients to receive prescriptions for strong opioids without leaving home, but still requires women to travel to a doctor’s office to pick up mifepristone only to turn around, go home, and ingest it without supervision ”.

Chief Justice John Roberts agreed with the majority opinion, noting that the issue before them “is not whether the requirements to dispense Mifepristone place an undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion as a general matter ”but whether the court“ correctly ordered ”the FDA to lift those requirements.

“My view is that the courts owe significant deference to politically responsible entities with ‘the background, competence and experience to assess public health,'” Roberts said, although the conservative majority did not explain their position.

With the arrival of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, nominated by Trump after the death last September of progressive Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the high court was left with six conservative and three liberal justices.

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