Update on Mifepristone Access

April 18, 2023

Check here for updates on the evolving legal situation over mifepristone: 


Before the end of March, CVS and Walgreens stores will begin selling mifepristone, a drug used to end pregnancy safely and effectively, at pharmacies across certain states.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments about the drug on March 26. The Justices will review a ruling from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that found the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to follow proper procedures when it began loosening some regulations for the drug. Pharmacies have received certification to dispense the medication from the FDA under new rules issued by the Biden administration. The appellate court’s ruling is on hold for now, and there will be no change with how the pills are distributed until the Supreme Court issues its decision later this June. 


  • The Texas court ruled to ban mifepristone on April 7, taking away the FDA’s authority to regulate the safety of medications. The judge paused the decision for seven days to allow for appeals.
  • Meanwhile, a federal judge in Washington state ordered the FDA to continue to make mifepristone available in the 17 states and District of Columbia that sued to protect access.
  • The Court of Appeals decided on April 12 to keep mifepristone on the market while an expedited appeal plays out, but with restrictions—the drug can no longer be dispensed through the mail or later in pregnancy.
  • On April 14, the Supreme Court intervened to pause these restrictions and temporarily preserve access to mifepristone. This intervention expires on Wednesday, April 19th. This deadline has been extended to Friday, April 21.
  • The Supreme Court ruled on April 21 that mifepristone could remain on the market while the case plays out in a lower court. The appeals court has oral arguments on the case on May 17. Whether mail-order access to mifepristone will be preserved may be a key issue for the appeals court.
  • A federal appeals court ruled on August 16 that mifepristone should remain legal in the United States but with significant restrictions on patients’ access to it. The restrictions would prevent mifepristone from being mailed to patients, require in-person doctor visits, and reduce the window in which it could be prescribed.
  • Mifepristone will remain available for now under existing regulations while the litigation continues, in accordance with a Supreme Court order this spring.
  • CVS and Walgreens stores will begin selling mifepristone at pharmacies across certain states, while oral arguments will occur about the drug on March 26th. 


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