What Happens to the Abortion Pill After Dobbs?

When the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the abortion medication mifepristone in 2000, prominent conservatives worried it might lead to an increase in abortions. 

“I think the FDA’s decision to approve the abortion pill RU-486 [mifepristone] is wrong,” then-candidate George W. Bush said at the time. “I fear that making this abortion pill widespread will make abortions more and more common, rather than more and more rare.”

Fortunately for pro-life advocates, Bush’s fears only came true in part. While mifepristone itself has become more and more common—accounting for a majority of U.S. abortions by 2020—abortions overall have become more and more rare (albeit with an uptick during the Trump administration).

Regardless of where those trends go in the future, the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade will focus more attention on mifepristone in America’s ongoing conflict over abortion.

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