Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey and Gov. Janet Mills have signed onto a friend of the court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect access to mifepristone, a commonly used abortion pill.

Frey and Mills this week signed onto an amicus brief filed by the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, a coalition of state attorneys general seeking to persuade the justices to reverse a lower court ruling that places restrictions on patient access to mifepristone.

The Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear oral arguments on March 26. At issue is a ruling last August by the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which reinstated certain restrictions on mifepristone. The Reproductive Freedom Alliance wants the high court to reverse that decision, calling the restrictions unnecessary.

In December, the Supreme Court indicated it would hear the case brought by the conservative group, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, which is challenging FDA policies that expand access to mifepristone. Those policies have allowed the pills to be prescribed online, mailed to patients and to be provided by pharmacies.

The case represents the Supreme Court’s first return to the issue of abortion since it overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. A ruling on behalf of the alliance could adversely affect health care for millions of women, including those in states like Maine that protect abortion rights, Frey and others warn.

The Reproductive Freedom Alliance, which consists of 23 attorneys general, filed the amicus brief Tuesday. It lays out their argument supporting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Danco Laboratories LLC’s efforts to reverse the Fifth Circuit court decision that reinstated restrictions on mifepristone after the FDA determined the restrictions were medically unnecessary. Mills also signed onto the amicus brief. Danco manufactures the abortion pill.


Frey and the other attorneys general argue that the Fifth Circuit’s ruling that reinstates restrictions on mifepristone will have dangerous consequences for reproductive health care outcomes, particularly those cases involving low-income and underserved communities. They also argue that mifepristone has proven to be safer than common prescription medications such as penicillin, Tylenol and Viagra.

“Anti-abortion activists have claimed in overturning Roe v. Wade that abortion is an issue best left to the states, but they continue to attempt to restrict access for the entire country,” Frey said in a statement. “There is no medically justified reason for the higher burden placed on people trying to obtain mifepristone.”

The Reproductive Freedom Alliance says that if the Fifth Circuit’s decision is allowed to stand, it could disrupt access to the most common method of abortion and has the potential to harm Americans in need of medical care or pregnancy loss management. They argue that the lower court ruling could lead individuals to undergo procedural abortion, drive up risks, costs, and deprive many Americans of access to reproductive health care.

“Governors cannot effectively serve their vital role of protecting public health and safety if FDA judgments that have stood for years, or even decades, can suddenly be substituted for the moral judgments of private citizens in other states,” the Reproductive Freedom Alliance argues in its brief.

Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England praised Mills for signing onto the amicus brief.

“We applaud Governor Mills and her colleagues for continuing to fight to protect access to abortion and related care,” Planned Parenthood spokesperson Lisa Margulies said. “Governor Mills acted immediately following the U.S. Supreme Court’s revocation of federal protections for abortion with an executive order protecting providers and patients in Maine. She followed that by championing historic legislation that safeguards and expands access to abortion in our state all while attacks on our rights and freedoms continue across the country, including here in Maine.”

Margulies said the pending case is one of “numerous politically motivated attacks on reproductive liberties … the extremists behind this attack on mifepristone are the same extremists who want to restrict access to birth control, to gender affirming care, and to reproductive autonomy for Mainers and for all Americans.”

The FDA approved mifepristone for use in the United States in combination with misoprostol for medication abortions in 2000. Before its approval in the U.S., mifepristone was widely used in Europe, beginning in France in the late 1980s. Since its FDA approval, mifepristone has been safely used in the United States more than 5 million times.

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