Guttmacher Leadership Speaks Out Against Attacks on Medication Abortion

Statement by Kelly Baden, Guttmacher Vice President for Public Policy, on the US Supreme Court’s decision to hear Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA 

Published on December 13, 2023

“Only 18 months after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion is back before the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court just agreed to hear oral arguments in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a baseless case that could dramatically reduce nationwide access to mifepristone, one of two drugs used in the most common medication abortion regimen. It’s important to note that access to mifepristone will stay unchanged until SCOTUS hears the case and issues a decision.  

The Court must reject the plaintiffs’ baseless argument and listen to the scientific evidence. Mifepristone is safe, effective and essential, and Guttmacher research shows it is used in more than half of all US abortions. In addition to its impressive safety record, the drug has been rigorously tested, has been in use for more than 20 years in the United States, is approved and widely used in almost 100 countries globally, and is deemed so important that the World Health Organization put it on its list of essential medicines.”  

“The Supreme Court’s radical decision to overturn Roe has already done tremendous damage. Abortion is currently banned in 14 states and severely restricted in several others. The lives of people who need an abortion are being upended every single day. And never forget: These attacks on bodily autonomy consistently fall the hardest on people and communities with few financial resources and those marginalized by systemic racism.”   

“Anti-abortion activists’ endgame was never just to overturn Roe—it was always to ban all abortions nationwide. Restricting medication abortion helps them get to that goal. In the face of relentless attacks on abortion rights, the Supreme Court has only one reasonable option—honor the FDA approval of mifepristone and preserve access to medication abortion without any medically unnecessary restrictions.”   

 

Statement by Kelly Baden, Guttmacher Institute Vice President for Public Policy, on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision attempting to limit access to mifepristone  

Published on August 16, 2023 

“The 5th Circuit’s decision attempting to restrict access to mifepristone is not surprising but is nonetheless outrageous for its complete disregard for facts and science. The three judges on the panel who heard this case are all well-known for holding anti-abortion views, and it’s clear that their decision is grounded in ideology rather than the strength of the evidence.   

The facts couldn't be more straightforward: Mifepristone is safe, effective and essential. Limiting access to medication abortion—which is used in over half of all US abortions—would only deepen the crisis that unfolded when Roe was overturned over a year ago.    

Abortion—including medication abortion—is currently banned or unavailable in 15 states. In the past year, tens of thousands of people have been denied abortion care in their state. Some may have been forced to carry pregnancies they do not want, and many others have had to overcome significant financial and logistical barriers to obtain abortions out- of -state or to self-manage their abortion.  

Anti-abortion activists’ end game wasn't to overturn Roe—it was always to ban abortion nationwide. This attempt to restrict access to mifepristone is their next step.    

In the face of relentless attacks on abortion rights, we must push for federal protections. The Women's Health Protection Act, the Abortion Justice Act, the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act and the HEAL for Immigrant Families Act—as well as state-level protections—are needed to restore, protect and expand abortion rights, coverage and care for everyone.”