US Supreme Court
Reproductive rights are at the forefront of the Supreme Court once again. This time, they are questioning whether or not to limit access to abortion pills. AFP

NEW YORK CITY - Reproductive rights are once again in the U.S. Supreme Court's agenda. This time, the Court would deliver on the possibility to limit access to abortion pills, which they have now signaled that it is unlikely to happen.

The justices, who currently hold a 6-3 conservative majority, heard arguments in an appeal by President Joe Biden's administration of a lower court's ruling in favor of the plaintiffs that would limit how the medication, called mifepristone, is prescribed and distributed. The case places abortion on the Court's radar during a presidential election year.

The case was brought by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian conservative group that helped overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022, on behalf of doctors and medical associations that oppose abortion and have long fought to reduce the availability of mifepristone.

The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) regulatory actions at risk in the case include allowing for medication abortions at up to 10 weeks of pregnancy instead of seven, and for mail delivery of the drug without a woman first seeing a clinician in-person.

The justices spent much of the arguments focusing on whether the plaintiffs had the legal standing to bring their claims of imminent injury by the FDA's actions. The plaintiffs have said they will be forced to violate their consciences by handling emergency complications that may arise in women who take the medication, which the FDA approved in 2000.

Justice Neil Gorsuch questioned why the case should affect anyone other than the doctors involved, who under federal law may be exempted from any obligation to treat a mifepristone patient.

"This case seems like a prime example of turning what could be a small lawsuit into a nationwide legislative assembly on an FDA rule," Gorsuch said.

Tuesday's court case is just the latest episode in the post-Roe v. Wade saga, which has brought about a series of legislative actions across the country on whether enshrining or restricting reproductive rights.

Since the Dobbs ruling in 2022, several studies have shown that Latinas are disproportionately impacted by restrictions of abortion due to a variety of reasons including economic and cultural ones.

In 2022,Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
In June 2022, the conservative-dominated Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which had enshrined a woman's constitutional right to an abortion. Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

As abortion increases in salience once again, here are 5 quick facts you should know about Latinas in regard to abortion.

  1. As of 2022, a majority of Hispanics (57%) said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, a slightly smaller share than among the U.S. public overall (62%). In turn, four in ten Hispanics said abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, according to the Pew Research Center.
  2. The country's most marginalized communities are those mostly affected by abortion. Hispanic women had 11.7 abortion per 1000 women in 2022, the second highest rate by a demographic. Similarly, Black and Hispanic women are more likely than white women to experience health complications during pregnancy and childbirth, making abortion a viable option in some of these cases, according to ABC News.
  3. As of October 2023, close to 6.7 million Latinas (43% of all Latinas ages 15-49) live in 26 states that have banned or are likely to ban abortions. That's 200,000 more Latinas than in 2022, according to an analysis by the National Partnership for Women and Families and the National latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.
  4. More than three million Latinas who live in the 26 states where abortion is either banned or likely to be banned are economically insecure, meaning their family income is below 200% of the federal poverty line, according to CNBC. Lack of abortion access also increases the chance they would be pushed deeper into poverty.
  5. The fertility rate for teens in Texas increased in 2022 for the first time in 15 years, according to NBC News. Texas women delivered 16,147 more babies in 2022 than in 2021. Of those, 13,503 babies, or 84%, were delivered by Latinas.

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