Even Brett Kavanaugh Tears Anti-Abortion Lawsuit Apart

Bill Clark/Getty
Bill Clark/Getty

Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas led the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Thursday that slapped down a lawsuit seeking to take a popular abortion pill off the market.

Handing pro-abortion supporters a rare win from the country’s highest court, Kavanaugh wrote that the case’s plaintiffs, a pro-life group of doctors who vehemently oppose abortion by any method, didn’t have the authority to challenge the FDA over an issue that did not impact them personally.

“Plaintiffs are pro-life, oppose elective abortion, and have sincere legal, moral, ideological, and policy objections to mifepristone being prescribed and used by others,” Kavanaugh wrote. “Because plaintiffs do not prescribe or use mifepristone, plaintiffs are unregulated parties who seek to challenge FDA’s regulation of others.”

It was the first major ruling on abortion by the U.S. Supreme Court since its conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022—a decision that set the U.S. back decades in reproductive rights at the federal level.

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The latest case, sparked by a lawsuit from an anti-abortion group emboldened in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturning, sought to upend a decades-long FDA approval for mifepristone, a pill used in over half of all U.S. abortions.

After a rogue, far-right federal judge in west Texas ruled in the group’s favor last year, the issue found its way in the Supreme Court. The court ruled unanimously against the challenge on Thursday.

“We recognize that many citizens, including the plaintiff doctors here, have sincere concerns about and objections to others using mifepristone and obtaining abortions,” Kavanaugh wrote. “But citizens and doctors do not have standing to sue simply because others are allowed to engage in certain activities—at least without the plaintiffs demonstrating how they would be injured by the government’s alleged under-regulation of others.”

Multiple abortion-rights groups celebrated the decision Thursday, but also maintained that the case had “no business” making it as far as the Supreme Court in the first place.

“While they were unsuccessful today, this case was borne out of a plan by anti-abortion, anti-democratic forces to weaponize the courts and to seize power from the people by any means necessary,” said a statement from Nourbese Flint, the president of the pro-abortion group All* Above All.

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