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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, Julie Marie Blake, senior counsel from Alliance Defending Freedom — which will be making oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday in the high-profile chemical abortion drug case — told LifeSiteNews that ADF is hopeful the high court will acknowledge the harms and danger the drug poses from women and require the FDA to reinstate basic medical restrictions.

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The interview with ADF follows below:

LSN: How far is the requested judicial relief reaching: Is ADF asking the Court to roll back the initial permission for the abortion based on the designation of pregnancy as an “illness” to be treated by the drug as a “medication”? If so, would such a ruling take the abortion pill immediately off the market?

Julie Blake: Thanks so much for your question. So, right now, the only issue that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear is about the FDA’s removal of safeguards in 2016 and 2021 that protect women’s health and safety. So those are safeguards on chemical abortion drugs like an in-person doctor’s visit, limiting the use of this drug later in pregnancy, collecting data about when something happens and women suffer complications. But because of the limited issue that the court has agreed to consider, this case isn’t about whether women will be able to obtain chemical abortion drugs. It’s about whether women will receive the ongoing in-person care of a doctor when they choose to take chemical abortion drugs.

READ: Could the Supreme Court overturn the FDA’s legally dubious abortion pill approval?

LSN: When the case was argued in the lower courts, how far was the argument taken? Are there limitations on what the Supreme Court is going to hear arguments about? Are those the same limitations that the lower courts had when you argued or are those newly imposed by SCOTUS?

Blake: So, this is a new framing of the case by the United States Supreme Court. The two lower courts that ruled on this case agreed in different ways with our doctors’ challenge to the FDA’s reckless betrayal of women and girls. The District Court agreed that the FDA never had the authority to approve these drugs in the first place. And the Appeals Court agreed that the FDA could not allow this drug on the market at a minimum without these safeguards. The U.S. Supreme Court, when presented with all of these issues by all the parties of the case, including by ADF, agreed only to hear the one narrow question that we described and that ADF won on, in both the Appeals Court and the trial court, which is whether the FDA had authority or evidence to remove these crucial safeguards like an in-person ongoing doctor’s care.

LSN: So, what would that do if, let’s say, they rule in your favor? What would that do to the lower courts’ granting of your arguments or their ruling in favor of your arguments about the initial approval?

Blake: If the Supreme Court rules for us on the limited question presented, it would be affirming the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which agreed with us that the FDA recklessly betrayed women and girls when it removed the safeguards and jeopardize their health and safety. So that would be the full reach of his opinion. And we’re hopeful that the Supreme Court does just that and realizes that the FDA was not putting women’s health and safety first when it removed these important safeguards on the chemical abortion drugs.

LSN: Even with this prioritizing of the health and safety of women, is anything going to be able to be mentioned about the obvious fact that this drug is designed to kill the baby? Is that even a secondary point that you will be able to mention in court on Tuesday?

Blake: Thanks so much for asking about that. Of course, of course, abortion has many victims and our doctors, the pro-life, pro-woman doctors that we represent, thousands of doctors, OB-GYN’s, emergency room doctors across America, have been caring for two patients in these situations with pregnant women for decades. Every time one of our doctors cares for a pregnant woman, they care for the mother and the baby. And even if one of their patients chooses to take chemical abortion drugs, they still want to ensure that the mother receives excellent health care herself.

And so that is what our case is doing. It’s focusing on the women who have been harmed by the FDA by its reckless push to remove basic health care safeguards that once protected women who use these high-risk drugs. Everyone should be able to agree that a woman who takes high-risk drugs, whether it’s chemical abortion drugs or something else, should at the minimum have the ongoing, in-person care of a doctor. That’s just good health care and, and it’s not a lot to ask from the FDA.

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LSN: I know this is probably on the mind of a lot of pro-lifers. If in the future, the high court were to agree to hear the case about pregnancy being designated as an “illness” and this chemical abortion drug being “medication” or “treatment,” do you think that if that case were ever to be argued by your group or another, do you think that would require and/or prompt the Supreme Court to address head on the question of the humanity of the unborn child? Do you think that would be the kind of case that would force the issue?

Blake: I think, at this point, the Supreme Court has made clear that the only issue it is open to considering right now is the issue on which it agreed to hear this case. Our court papers presented the full slate of issues in this case, including the initial approval of this drug, but the Supreme Court was very clear in its order, that it was only interested in hearing about whether the FDA acted recklessly and without evidence, and without following the law when it removed the safeguards on the drug. So, again, right now, that’s what we have in front of us and that’s what the Supreme Court arguments are going to be focusing (on).

RELATED: Why won’t the Supreme Court grant legal status to the unborn in FDA abortion pill case?

LSN: There is a federal law on the books prohibiting the cross-state mailing of an abortion drug. Is that one of the specific federal laws that you’ll be arguing is being violated?

Blake: Yes. So, the FDA had no authority and no evidence to allow women to receive chemical abortion drugs in the mail online, without ever having an in-person doctor visit, which is so important for ectopic pregnancies and to care for a women who’s going through this process. Federal law prohibits mailing chemical abortion drugs. And the FDA had no studies, they even said, had no adequate studies to show that mailing these drugs were safe.

So, on the law and on the facts, the FDA simply has betrayed women and girls by allowing chemical abortion drugs to be sent to women by mail online, just by filling out a form, with no prior doctor exam, no follow-up care, no one even in-person nearby to help her. And it’s just simply appalling that women be left all alone at home ,in their dorm rooms or in their bathrooms to perform their own chemical abortions with no oversight, no one helping them, no in-person, ongoing doctor care.

I think all Americans should be able to agree that women deserve excellent health care. Any time they’re taking high-risk drugs, even chemical abortion drugs, women deserve the same, excellent health care. And what the FDA is providing is simply dangerous by removing the safeguards without health care.

Our website includes materials from women who have been survivors of chemical abortion drugs and who are speaking out against the recklessness and the betrayal that they feel from the FDA.


63% of all US abortions are now done with pills: Guttmacher report