Supreme Court dismisses Oklahoma 'abortion pill' case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday dismissed [order list, PDF] a case concerning an attempt by the Oklahoma state government to resurrect a state law that limited the uses of the abortion drug RU-486 [FDA guidelines]. The one-line dismissal of Cline, et al., v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] stated in its entirety that, "the writ of certiorari is dismissed improvidently granted." The Supreme Court's decision effectively upholds the Oklahoma court's decision striking down the law [JURIST report]. In June the Supreme Court instructed [LAT report] the Supreme Court of Oklahoma to clarify its December 2012 decision [text] that had struck down the law as violating the the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey [PBS backgrounder]. The 2011 law prevented [Reuters report] doctors from "off-label" use of the RU-486, which abortion rights advocates claimed effectively banned all medication-based abortions.

The drug RU-486 has been the subject of considerable controversy and litigation throughout the US. In October 2012 the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] affirmed [JURIST report] a lower court ruling that permitted an Ohio law [2919.123 text] limiting the use of the "abortion pill." The law requires that the use of the pill, RU-486, conform with federal guidelines, which currently do not allow the pill to be used after seven weeks of pregnancy. In March 2009, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma struck down [JURIST report] a broad abortion law that included restrictions on the application and use of RU-486. In October JURIST Guest Columnist Mailee R. Smith of Americans United for Life discussed [JURIST op-ed] how the Supreme Court should rule in Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice.

 

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