June 18, 2024

SWHR Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on FDA v Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine

June 17, 2024The Society for Women’s Health Research issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Food and Drug Administration et al v Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al case on whether to restrict access to mifepristone nationwide.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR)—a national thought leader with a mission to improve women’s health through science, policy, and education while promoting research on sex differences to optimize women’s health—is pleased that the Supreme Court has ruled to preserve access to mifepristone and protect the authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make decisions regarding the safety and efficacy of drugs, biological products, and treatments by ruling unanimously that the plaintiffs in the case did not have standing to bring the lawsuit.

SWHR reaffirms its earlier statement in response to the ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which states, “As a nation, there is still a need for significant progress to ensure that women have equitable access to medications and the care they need when they need it.” While mifepristone can be used for abortion care, this medication can also be used for miscarriage and early pregnancy loss, as a treatment for Cushing’s syndrome, and as a treatment for multiple forms of cancer and depression. Women deserve to have access to the full range of medications and treatment options.

While we know that the ruling in this case likely does not represent the end of states challenging access to mifepristone, the Supreme Court’s decision—at least for now—has avoided setting the harmful precedent of having the courts circumvent FDA’s authority, placing medical decision-making outside of a comprehensive evidence-based and independent review process. The downstream consequences of what this ruling, had it gone the other way, could have meant for drug development and regulation in the United States were grim.

SWHR maintains its confidence in the FDA and its role in protecting the public’s health as well as in the need for science- and evidence-based decision-making when it comes to patients’ access to treatments.