RELEASE: As SCOTUS Hears Mifepristone Case, Abortion Access is Still Being Decided by State Legislatures

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State legislatures will be left to pick up the pieces regardless of which way this ruling goes

WASHINGTON — Tomorrow, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will begin hearing oral arguments in a case that threatens to severely restrict access to mifepristone. Mifepristone is used in combination with misoprostol in a vast majority of abortions nationwide, is FDA-approved, and is widely regarded as safe and effective – yet it’s now facing an uncertain future with a Supreme Court bench built by Donald Trump that’s proven hostile to reproductive freedoms. 

While this case marks Republicans’ latest attempt to undermine access to reproductive care through the courts, GOP legislators have already taken action in the states to block access to abortion medication. All 14 GOP states with near-total abortion bans have separate provisions limiting medication abortion. Republicans are blocking access through telehealth bans, unnecessary doctor visits, and prescription requirements. Fifteen states already have laws that restrict medication abortion, with five states requiring patients to meet in person with a physician before obtaining the medication, and two states banning the medication from being mailed to patients. 

Since the Supreme Court struck down Roe, states have become the arbiters of the landscape of reproductive freedoms. Every state with a Republican trifecta has passed legislation to ban abortion, while every state with a Democratic legislative majority has taken action to protect or expand abortion. With fundamental freedoms on the line in the states, electing Democrats to state legislatures across the country has never been more essential.

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Heather Williams issued the following statement: 

“This Supreme Court case could deliver the latest shock to the landscape of reproductive freedoms for women and patients across the country. This court has repeatedly proven to be hostile to reproductive care, including the Dobbs decision that remanded decisions around abortion access to the states. Whichever way this decision goes, it’s the states that will pick up the pieces, and it’s the states that have already implemented a series of attacks on access to abortion medication. Republicans in at least fourteen state legislatures have already passed laws undermining access to medication abortion – with more sure to follow if they feel empowered by this Supreme Court ruling. As reproductive freedoms continue to be decided by the states, electing Democrats to state legislatures has never been more important. 2024 is the year of the states. Abortion is on the line in November, and this is the most important ballot level deciding what our future looks like.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.