The United States Supreme Court reinstated a requirement Tuesday that women seeking to obtain abortion pills must pick up the pills in person from a hospital or medical office rather than receiving them by mail.
The case is the Supreme Court’s first ruling on abortion since Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the court, the New York Times reported, and the three liberal justices dissented.
“The question before us is not whether the requirements for dispensing mifepristone impose an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion as a general matter,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the unsigned ruling. “The question is instead whether the District Court properly ordered the Food and Drug Administration to lift those established requirements because of the court’s own evaluation of the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic.”
“Here as in related contexts concerning government responses to the pandemic, my view is that courts owe significant deference to the politically accountable entities with the ‘background, competence, and expertise to assess public health,’” he continued. “In light of those considerations, I do not see a sufficient basis here for the District Court to compel the FDA to alter the regimen for medical abortion.”
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