World

Medication Abortion in the Courts: What’s at Stake?

Access to medication abortion has emerged as a central issue following the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade. There is ongoing litigation in four federal cases about the FDA’s approval and regulation of mifepristone, one of the two drugs used in medication abortion. Mifepristone, approved by the FDA in 2000, has a long record of safety and effectiveness and has been used by more than 5 million people in the United States.

In the most watched case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the court could rule to invalidate the FDAs 23-year-old approval of mifepristone or potentially limit the distribution of this drug for abortion, even in states where abortion remains legal. The ruling could also limit the availability of misoprostol, the other drug used in the medication abortion regimen. While these cases focus on abortion, the outcome of the litigation could have broader impact on the FDA’s future authority to regulate a wide range of other drugs.

In advance of the decision, we’re sharing key KFF resources that explain the medication abortion landscape related to what’s at stake and how women could be affected.

The Availability and Use of Medication Abortion 

Examine medication abortion, how it is used and regulated, the role of the drug in self-managed abortions, and an analysis of the intersection of federal and state regulations affecting its provision and coverage.

Key Facts on Abortion in the United States

Answer key questions about abortion in the United States.

State Health Facts

Get up-to-date and easy-to-use health data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States. The Women’s Health category includes indicators for abortion.

State Profiles for Women’s Health

Explore the latest national and state-specific data and policies on women’s health, including abortion policies.

KFF Health Tracking Poll: Early 2023 Update On Public Awareness On Abortion and Emergency Contraception

Study the results of our February KFF Health Tracking Poll, which found widespread public confusion about the medication abortion pill and whether abortion is legal at the state level.

Abortion Bans May Limit Essential Medications for Women with Chronic Conditions

Explore an analysis about the use of methotrexate and misoprostol; the majority of those who use these drugs are women who are not pregnant but have diagnoses for other chronic conditions and rely on these medications to manage their health.

Abortion in the U.S. Dashboard

Review a variety of resources about abortion in the United Sates and track state abortion policies and litigation following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.