SCOTUS hears arguments over access to abortion pill mifepristone

CHARLOTTE — Who should decide if medicines are safe and effective? That’s the question before the United States Supreme Court.

It’s being asked in a case that could ban a widely-used abortion pill that was approved by the FDA more than 20 years ago.

But could the ruling in Washington impact people in the Carolinas?

It will be several months before the Supreme Court issues a ruling on medication abortion. But what they decide will have an impact on North and South Carolina.

The pill, called mifepristone, is part of a two-drug regimen used to end pregnancy up to 10 weeks.

People who want access curtailed say providing access to the pill is best left up to the states.

This is the first big abortion case since Roe v. Wade was struck down in 2022, but its impact to North and South Carolina will be limited.

At the heart of this case is whether mifepristone can be prescribed via telehealth and sent through the mail. North Carolina and South Carolina already don’t allow that. Regardless, political experts say abortion rights will likely drive people to the polls.

For example, on Tuesday, an Alabama state house candidate campaigning on abortion and IVF rights defeated a Republican in a longtime GOP district.

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Allison Riggs says she expects women’s health issues to motivate voters.

“This fight about women’s freedom, and reproductive health care doesn’t end on the doors of the United States Supreme Court,” she said. “And so North Carolinians have the opportunity to elect people who will respect women’s freedom and I think that’s something they should do.”

Virginia allows telehealth visits for the abortion pill. So if the Supreme Court does side with anti-abortion advocates, one impact could be more Virginians coming to North Carolina for abortion appointments if North Carolina clinics are closer to their homes.

(WATCH BELOW: SCOTUS announces possible abortion drug restricting; final decision expected by June)