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Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on the abortion pill mifepristone represents a subdued victory for abortion-rights activists. The court wrote in a unanimous decision that the plaintiffs in the case – anti-abortion organizations and doctors – did not have the standing to challenge the Food and Drug Administration’s approval and regulation of mifepristone. The decision temporarily protects access to the drug for use in medication abortions through the mail from certified pharmacies, via telehealth and by nonphysician providers such as nurse practitioners in states where it is legal.

But experts say it’s certain that this is not the end of litigation involving mifepristone and that individual states could still threaten access to the drug in the future. Some of those state efforts are already making their way through the lower courts, explain law professors Naomi Cahn and Sonia Suter.

“While the short-term consequences of the ruling leave mifepristone available where it is legal, this is not the last word on access to medication abortion,” they write.

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Amanda Mascarelli

Senior Health and Medicine Editor

Activists on both sides of the abortion battle are gearing up for it to be a major issue in the 2024 election. Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Supreme Court unanimously concludes that anti-abortion groups have no standing to challenge access to mifepristone – but the drug likely faces more court challenges

Naomi Cahn, University of Virginia; Sonia Suter, George Washington University

The opinion did not take on the substance of the plaintiffs’ claims against mifepristone, and the abortion pill is already facing other challenges.

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    June 24 will be the second anniversary of the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and ended 50 years of national abortion rights. What was the name of that case?

    1. A. Dobbs v. Jackson
    2. B. Plessy v. Ferguson
    3. C. State of Texas v. McMurtry
    4. D. Roe v. Wade 2: The Empire Strikes Back

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