Press Release
MIFE & EMTALA: The Latest Attacks On Abortion Access In Front Of SCOTUS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 22, 2024 – This term, two important cases are in front of the Supreme Court that could restrict abortion care nationwide, have devastating impacts on the health of women of color, and undermine the independence of federal institutions:

  • Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, which challenges patients’ access to the abortion medication mifepristone (mife)
  • Idaho v. United States and Moyle v. United States, which aims to exclude pregnant peoples’ protections for emergency health care under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)

These cases take the extremist far-right agenda to eliminate abortion and restrict reproductive health care to the next level. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, abortion access has become more precarious – 26 states have banned or are likely to ban abortion, putting a disproportionate burden on women of color and disabled people. And as states take action to ban abortion, more people are relying on telemedicine for reproductive health care.

Now, the Court is set to hear arguments from a coalition of anti-abortion activists who want to eliminate the telehealth availability of mife, and override the FDA’s approval of the drug. Even before Roe was overturned, mife accounted for more than half of all abortions in the US; now that number is 63% and likely growing. If the Supreme Court upholds a far-right Texas judge’s decision, it could eliminate telehealth availability in ALL 50 states, decimating access to a safe and effective medication that is increasingly relied upon for abortion care, as well as miscarriages and other health issues, and drastically restricting pregnant people’s freedom to access care. Eliminating access to mife would undermine the integrity of the FDA and allow the Court to substitute evidence-based science for their own ideological beliefs.

The case that the Court is set to hear in April regarding EMTALA takes abortion restrictions even further. Anti-abortion extremists are aiming to exclude pregnant people from EMTALA’s long-standing protections, which would cruelly deny pregnant people urgent and lifesaving care they need during pregnancy and force doctors to turn away patients suffering emergency pregnancy complications. Studies show at least a third of pregnancies involve ER visits, and up to 15% include potentially life-threatening conditions. In some states with abortion bans, pregnant people have already been endangered by being turned away from hospitals, unable to get the emergency care they need. For Latinas and Black and Indigenous women, as well as people who live in rural areas or have low income, systemic barriers and bias in the health care system already make it challenging to access high quality health care and make the rate of emergency room visits disproportionately higher. Without emergency care protections, these communities will face extreme harm.

These cases are more evidence of the coordinated attacks on repro health care across all fronts. And anti-abortion extremists aren’t concerned with the wellbeing of families – they are focused on inflicting cruelty on women and dismantling our rights and institutions. In a critical election year, working families are paying close attention. These attacks on reproductive health care, including IVF and birth control, have consequences beyond health, including further challenging women’s economic stability.

The National Partnership for Women & Families President Jocelyn C. Frye, and our experts, are available to discuss what’s at stake for women as cases in front of the Supreme Court attempt to undermine reproductive rights.

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Media Contact:

Miriam Cash

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About the National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.

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