Immediately after the Supreme Court issued its ruling on Friday in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization reversing Roe v. Wade, Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland came out with a warning for conservative states that have or will restrict abortion on demand.
Garland said in a statement issued Friday that states cannot prohibit the use of the abortion drug mifepristone “based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment.” He said that states may not overturn the decision of the federal agency that has “approved the use” of the abortion-inducing drug.
Mifepristone has become the most widely used form of abortion since it was approved by the FDA in 2000. The Guttmacher Institute reported that 54% of U.S. abortions in 2020 were pharmaceutically induced. The drug can be used during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy.
Garland also said that women who reside in states that ban abortion “must remain free to seek care in states where it is legal.” He also declared that the First Amendment protects the right of persons to “inform and counsel each other” about where to find legal abortions.
As a claimed result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden FDA in December 2021 permanently loosened the restrictions that had been in place on providing abortion drugs by USPS. The Biden administration then allowed for the prescription of the drugs via telemedicine without any in-person consultation or medical exam.
Yale University gynecologist Dr. Mary Jane Minkin told the media that mifepristone is taken in conjunction with other drugs to first block the production of the hormone progesterone which is essential to continuing a pregnancy. Then the medication causes the uterus to contract and expel the embryo or fetus.
Minkin described the process as “in a sense, a miscarriage.” Although the at-home abortion process is possible with the use of mifepristone alone, the use of a combination of drugs reduces the likelihood that surgery will be necessary to remove the deceased fetus.
Danco Labs is a leading manufacturer of mifepristone. The company said through a spokesperson that it is gearing up for “any surge” in orders for the drug now that Roe v. Wade has been ended.