Biden administration asks US supreme court to block limits on abortion pill – live

Key events

A day after signing the six-week ban on abortions, DeSantis spoke at Liberty University, a Christian college.

But the Florida governor did not mention the legislation in his speech.

From CBS political reporter Aaron Navarro:

At Liberty University, a notable evangelical institution in Virginia, Florida Gov. DeSantis did not bring up the six-week abortion ban he signed late last night.

Campus pastor Johnathan Falwell brought it up in his intro, to applause. But nothing from DeSantis himself (cont.)

— aaron navarro (@aaronlarnavarro) April 14, 2023

“Last night, after the legislature there in Florida passed the bill, he signed the Heartbeat Protection act. And as he signed that into the law in the state of Florida, it will protect all unborn babies because he recognizes and knows that life is a gift from god,” Falwell said.

— aaron navarro (@aaronlarnavarro) April 14, 2023

Here’s more on the Biden administration’s request to the supreme court to block lower court limitations on the abortion pill from Mary Tuma for the Guardian:

The Biden administration appealed to the US supreme court on Friday asking it to halt an appellate ruling that adds onerous restrictions to a key abortion drug. The restrictions were slated to go into effect at 12.01am on Saturday morning.

The ruling at the center of the emergency application to the high court was issued on Wednesday night by the fifth circuit court of appeals. The US Department of Justice had asked the appeals court to block a lower court order revoking the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone in 2000.

The Louisiana-based appellate court – considered one of the most conservative in the US – blocked part of that order, but allowed other parts to stand, and temporarily reimposed restrictions on the drug that the FDA had lifted starting in 2016.

“If allowed to take effect, the lower courts’ orders would thwart FDA’s scientific judgment and undermine widespread reliance in a healthcare system that assumes the availability of mifepristone as an alternative to more burdensome and invasive surgical abortions,” wrote the solicitor general, Elizabeth Prelogar, in the filing.

Danco Laboratories has said that they will continue to distribute the abortion pill, according to an email from the company.

Reuters reported that the company emailed a statement confirming that they will still continue to dispense Mifeprex to its customers.

The majority of Americans do not support restrictive bans on abortion, Politico reports.

72% of Americans oppose “laws that make it illegal to use or receive through the mail FDA-approved drugs for a medical abortion,” according to a survey by the nonpartisan Public religion research institute.

62% are against six-week abortion bans or bans around when a fetus’ heartbeat is detected.

52% of Americans are opposed to restrictions on abortions after 15-weeks.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis signing a six-week ban on abortions may have political consequences ahead of his rumored presidential run, reports Politico.

DeSantis backing the near-total ban could rally some Republican voters, especially in what is expected to be a packed 2024 presidential candidate race.

But enacting a total ban could bring political trouble and weaken support for DeSantis amid any voters who see such harsh abortions restrictions as too far.

From Politico’s Sally Goldenberg and Alice Miranda Ollstein:

DeSantis is banking on support in the primary from anti-abortion voters, particularly those angry at Donald Trump. … But a six-week ban pushes the outer boundary of anti-abortion rights proposals. And it could spell trouble for DeSantis among independents and suburban voters in a general election, if he makes it that far.

Danco Laboratories, US abortion pill manufacturer, has said that it may have to stop producing the medication if the supreme court cannot intervene on lower court limitations, reports Reuters.

New court-imposed restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone could cut off access to the drug entirely for months, the Biden administration and the drug’s distributor, Danco Laboratories, said in petitions asking the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the curbs.

Marketing the drugs under the conditions imposed by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday will require a new approval process and new labeling, they said.
Danco, whose sole product is the abortion pill, said that if the Supreme Court does not act, it may have to halt its operations.

Joan E Greve

Joan E Greve

Reproductive rights groups have denounced the six-week abortion ban signed into law by Ron DeSantis, warning that the policy would carry disastrous consequences for the Florida governor’s constituents.

“These policy decisions disproportionately hurt Black and Latino people, LGBTQ+ people, and people with low incomes due to systemic racism and discrimination,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said yesterday.

“We will keep fighting back in the days, months, and years to come until all Floridians can get the care they deserve without barriers or delay.”

Noting that a majority of Floridians do not support such restrictions, reproductive rights leaders predicted abortion bans would spell electoral disaster for Republicans next year.

“As Republicans are learning in every single election since Dobbs, it is not a path to victory,” said Mini Timmaraju, president of Naral. “The more harm DeSantis and extremists are willing to inflict on their constituents in their quest for power, the worse Election Night will be for them.”

As apart of its appeal to the supreme court, the Biden administration argued that limits on the abortion pill from lower courts would require the relabeling of the drug, a process that could take months and deny people access to the medication, reported Reuters.

The administration noted that the lower court orders would have “sweeping consequences” for those who require access to mifepristone, one of two common medications used in abortions.

The administration added that the ruling could impact the FDA’s scientific judgment authority over drug safety.

Biden admin asks supreme court to block abortion pill limits

The Biden administration has asked the supreme court to stop limits from lower courts on the abortion pill as the government seeks to defend the drug against attacks from anti-abortion activists and Republican legislators, reports Reuters.

Meanwhile, the justice department has filed an emergency request for supreme court justices to put on hold a ruling by a federal Texas judge that would significantly restrict the distribution of the abortion pill, Reuters further reported.

The latest developments come as litigation by anti-abortion groups is underway, challenging mifepristone’s regulatory approval.

Republican governor Ron DeSantis quietly signed off on a six-week abortion ban late last night, after the majority-GOP legislature approved of the bill.

Florida’s ban is not in effect yet, as the state’s original 15-week ban faces a legal challenge in its supreme court, which is mostly conservative.

Up until Thursday, Florida was one of few southern states that had not enacted a near-total abortion ban–serving as a resource for southern people who could not access the procedure in their own state, reported Axios.

Since the overturning of Roe v wade, Florida has seen one of the largest increases in abortion demand. Clinicians provided 7,190 more abortions in the six months following the Dobbs decision, according to data from the Society of family planning.

“In the last six months since Dobbs, the number of out-of-state patients coming to [us] for abortion care has quadrupled,” said Damien Filer, a representative of Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida (PPSEN), to the Guardian in an interview last month.

Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and other nearby states have either completely banned or severely restricted the procedure–with many clinics closing completely.

US abortion pill maker calls for supreme court to intervene

US abortion pill manufacturer Danco Laboratories has asked the supreme court to intervene in attempts to restrict the medication, ahead of a possible appeal file from the Department of Justice today, reported Reuters.

The pill maker put out a statement yesterday in response to a federal judge in Texas suspending US approval of mifepristone, one of two medications commonly used in abortion procedures.

“This is a dark day for public health, especially for reproductive rights and the reliance on science and medical expertise to guide decisions about what drugs are safe and effective and should be available to patients,” wrote Abby Long, Danco’s Director of Public Affairs in a statement.

A separate ruling from a Washington judge followed shortly, ordering the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to avoid taking any action that could impact the availability of the medication.

The two conflicting rulings have set off a complicated legal battle, which could put the pill’s future availability in jeopardy.

Florida enacts six-week abortion ban

Good morning.

Abortion access in Republican-controlled states are facing additional coordinated attacks, with Florida and Texas serving as major political battlegrounds.

In Florida, Republican governor Ron DeSantis signed a six-week ban on abortion late Thursday after the bill was approved by the GOP-majority legislature.

Florida’s most recent ban will only take effect if the state’s current 15-week ban is upheld before its supreme court, which has a conservative majority.

The ban could give DeSantis, who is expected to run for president in 2024, a key victory with Republican primary voters.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice may file an appeal with the supreme court today, attempting to stop the restriction of mifepristone, the at-home abortion bill, in Texas.

Follow this blog for more updates on abortion politics news.