The use of the abortion pill remains temporarily authorized in the United States, but under more drastic conditions than before, according to a judgment rendered on the evening of Wednesday April 12 by a federal appeals court. On Friday, a federal judge, located in Texas, had offered a resounding victory to opponents of abortion by suspending the marketing authorization of the molecule, mifepristone, throughout the United States.
This decision was finally tempered by the judgment of this appeals court, based in New Orleans (Louisiana), which decided by two votes against one to maintain the authorization of the pill, but with stricter rules. To access it, it will now take three visits to the doctor during the prescription period, which will be limited to the first seven weeks of pregnancy, compared to ten previously.
An "unprecedented" shutdown
As of Monday, the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden had asked an appeals court, located in New Orleans, to intervene. This "extraordinary and unprecedented judgment" must "be blocked pending the substantive examination" of the file, the Ministry of Justice had written to him. He asked this court, known for its conservative majority, to decide before Thursday noon, in order to give him time, in the event of failure, to turn urgently to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The twist comes nearly a year after the conservative-dominated Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade, who had enshrined the right of women to abortion in the United States for half a century.