Unpacking the Supreme Court’s Mife Case and New Mexico’s response

Unpacking the Supreme Court’s Mife Case and New Mexico’s response


Did you catch the Supreme Court’s hearing of oral arguments on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine? In case you didn’t, let us break it down for you.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the “Mife case” as many people know it. “Mife” is a drug commonly used to self-manage abortion This case, initiated by the known anti-abortion organization, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, comes nearly a year after Judge Kacsmaryk annulled the FDA's endorsement of the medication Mifepristone in Texas, prompting the Supreme Court to suspend his ruling in the same month. Following these events, the U.S. Department of Justice petitioned the Supreme Court with a request to review the lower court's decision. The Supreme Court agreed to evaluate the case, leading us to where we are now.

So what are the basics of this Supreme Court Case? The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine is asking the Court to issue an emergency ruling ordering the FDA to withdraw the approval for Mifepristone that it issued more than 20 years ago. The Alliance must prove (1) they have suffered an injury that is concrete; (2) that the injury was likely caused by the defendant, in this case, the FDA; and (3) that the injury would likely be redressed by judicial relief. Meaning that they need the Supreme Court to issue a ruling in their favor. If they side with the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, Mifepristone could be taken off the shelves and bar health care professionals from prescribing it in every state in the nation, including New Mexico. On a broader note, this case could set precedent that undermines FDA’s authority on future research and approval of new drugs. For the people in the back, the hearing of this case is just another step in the anti-abortion agenda.

As a reminder, Mifepristone was first approved by the FDA over 20 years ago and is a safe and effective method of ending an early pregnancy. There is an overwhelming body of scientific and medical evidence that shows Mifepristone is safe and effective for anyone. While it is also used in conjunction with Misoprotol, also known as Miso, it can be used alone to safely and effectively end a pregnancy. Miso alone has been used as a method of medication abortion both before and after Mifepristone’s approval by the FDA. Both are STILL AVAILABLE. If Mife goes down, people can still manage their abortions with Miso only.

Back to what we heard during the actual arguments. Most of the arguments centered around “conscious objections” which is basically that doctors and medical professionals can object to providing care based on their personal beliefs. Funny that they’re going so hard about defending their own personal beliefs, yet they won’t leave us alone for defending ours, huh? Anyways, many of the Justices continuously enforced that medical professionals already have that right.

We were surprised to hear that the Comstock Act was not brought up as much as we thought it would come up. The archaic Comstock Act passed over 100 years ago, is being used by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine to argue that it’s illegal to send or receive Mife, and any other medication used to provide an abortion, through the mail.

Throughout the arguments, the same question of whether the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine even had standing for this case, was brought up several times. By the way, “Standing” refers to whether or not the group challenging the law, in this case being The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, actually faces harm from it and can sue.

With the arguments behind us, we’ll await their decision that may not come until May or June. We’re feeling a bit on the confident side, since a lot of the Justices expressed their skepticism of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine’s arguments. Also, the FDA has the backing of the pharmaceutical industry, which has warned that any second-guessing of the approval process by untrained federal judges could cause chaos and deter innovation.

After the arguments, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and 20 other governors of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, told the Supreme Court why ruling against Mifepristone would be bad for everyone. We’re proud to be a state that honors all decisions on abortion and will continue to value respect for New Mexicans and people who travel to New Mexico seeking care.

What we know to be true is that the anti-abortion groups like the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and their allies are trying to severely restrict safe, effective medication abortion care nationwide and allow hospitals to deny pregnant people emergency abortion care.

Abortion bans and restrictions do nothing to protect the health and wellbeing of
people seeking abortion care. Instead, it puts people’s lives at risk, and has devastating effects
on other reproductive health, including miscarriage treatment.

This goes against the will of the people. Study after study reveals that mifepristone is a safe way to end a pregnancy. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA is a desperate, political attempt to ban abortion for all of us. You can fight back by spreading the word about how safe mifepristone is. Stay with us as we continue to bring you information regarding this case.

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