The overturning of Roe v. Wade was just the beginning of the dismantling of abortion rights in the U.S., POLITICO reports. A single judge could outlaw the abortion pill nationwide, and experts warn that this is not even the worst of it.
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, it promised to “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
In virtually every instance in which it’s been returned to the people, which has mostly happened by ballot initiative and referendum, the people have acted to protect reproductive rights.
Conservatives are now trying to put the issue of abortion access into the hands of a single judge that no one has ever voted for.
Enter Matthew Kacsmaryk, a federal judge in Texas appointed by former president Donald Trump. Kacsmaryk previously worked for a conservative group, First Liberty Institute, that brought cases aimed at restricting abortion access.
In the coming weeks, there is a very real possibility that Kacsmaryk will single-handedly outlaw medication abortion in all 50 states, massively disrupting access to reproductive health care across the entire country.
Doctors and advocates are urging people to pre-order and stockpile the abortion pill while they still can in the face of a looming court decision that could wipe out access to the drugs nationwide.
District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, Texas, could either strike down the FDA’s decades-old decision to approve mifepristone — the first of two pills used to end a pregnancy — or roll back more recent agency decisions making the pills available via telemedicine, mail delivery, and pharmacy pickup.
Eighteen states already have restrictions on the pills, many of them as part of near-total bans on abortion.
But a ruling from Kacsmaryk could either cut off access to the drugs in the mostly Democratic-led states where they remain legal or reinstate rules mandating that patients only be able to receive them in person from a physician.
Worse, there is a substantial likelihood that higher courts—including the Supreme Court—will let him get away with it.
Experts warn that there will be more and more of these scandalously frivolous claims succeeding, precisely because the Supreme Court has changed so much, so quickly.
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