Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Remarks Hint At Supreme Court’s Ruling on Abortion Pill Case

by Gee NY
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson answers questions during the second day her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. Image Credit: Greg Nash

In a pivotal legal session on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court leaned towards skepticism regarding the case seeking to ban the FDA-approved abortion drug, mifepristone, largely influenced by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s concerns.

During the nearly two-hour oral arguments, Justice Jackson expressed apprehensions about the mismatch between the plaintiffs’ claimed injury and the remedy sought, signaling potential implications for the outcome of the case.

The plaintiffs, represented by the Alliance For Hippocratic Medicine, argue for nationwide restrictions on mifepristone, citing a purported “conscience injury” that compels them to participate in abortion procedures despite their opposition.

However, Jackson and other justices questioned the plaintiffs’ standing and the necessity for additional restrictions given existing federal laws allowing doctors to opt out of providing abortion care.

Legal experts and lawmakers like U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, viewed the plaintiffs’ case as lacking in evidence and foresee a potential dismissal, citing the absence of actual harm suffered by the plaintiffs.

Julia Kaye from the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project has also spoken about the significance of the case’s outcome, stating that limiting mifepristone access would disproportionately affect marginalized communities who rely on the drug for safe and accessible abortion care.

Since its FDA approval in 2000, mifepristone has become a crucial method for terminating early pregnancies, especially in the face of increased anti-abortion legislation in states like Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Florida, and Georgia.

As the Supreme Court deliberates, legal observers anticipate a ruling by late June, with implications that could reverberate across the nation’s reproductive healthcare landscape.

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