Governor Newsom on Supreme Court Hearing on Backdoor Abortion Ban

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Newsom issued the following statement ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court argument in the court case Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, a legal challenge brought by anti-abortion activists to block access to Mifepristone – the widely used, safe and effective medication used in the majority of abortion care procedures in the United States.

“Republicans want a national abortion ban. Full stop. And they’ll do whatever it takes – including trying to strip away FDA approval for a drug that has been proven to be safe and effective for decades. These hostile actions are not just unpopular, they fly in the face of science and put women at risk. So much is at stake today: reproductive freedom; the scientific process by which our country has approved safe, commonly used medication for decades; and our innovation economy – which, among other things, relies on the FDA drug approval process. This should scare the hell out of everyone. These extremists will continue working to roll back rights, and we cannot waver in our work to stop them.”

Governor Gavin Newsom

HOW WE GOT HERE: At the urging of extremists, both the district court and the 5th Circuit have sided against science, medicine, and decades of data.

WHY THIS MATTERS: This case has massive implications for people’s health and well-being across the country. Mifepristone is a key part of the 2-drug regimen used to perform medication abortions – which make up over 50% of abortions performed nationwide.


  1. Mifepristone’s FDA approval, which could jeopardize access throughout the country – not just select, extreme states – to a key medication used to perform medication abortion. If the Supreme Court upholds the lower courts’ rulings, medication abortion access will plummet.
  2. This lawsuit threatens to upend the entire FDA review process – a time-tested gold standard for rigor and risk mitigation. If the Court allows this decision to stand, there will be severe consequences for patient access to a wide range of safe and effective medications – and to our innovation economy, which relies on the FDA approval process for drug development and growth.
  3. It is possible that the Court will invoke a 1800s law (Comstock Act) – viewed as a dead letter by scholars and Congress for decades – to impose a backdoor nationwide abortion ban. And if they don’t do it today, because of the election, they may find another opportunity next term to impose a ban.

IMPACT ALREADY FELT: Since a Trump-stacked Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, almost every facet of our communities have been negatively impacted – from students deciding where to pursue their post-high school education and a medical workforce no longer able to learn comprehensive care to people being forced to carry their rapist’s baby and having to navigate potentially life-threatening situations without the health care they deserve.

Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade:
  • Governor Newsom has invested more than $240 million to protect and expand access to reproductive health care in California.
  • California providers performed over 12,000 more abortions than expected – seeing an 11.2% increase in the number of abortions performed in June 2023 alone (compared to April 2022).
  • 198,678 people have visited Abortion.CA.Gov, with 55.7% of people being from outside of California.

RECENT ACTION: In February, the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, a coalition of 23 governors launched by Governor Newsom after Dobbs, filed an amicus brief pushing back on this radical attempt to restrict people’s access to reproductive health care.

CALIFORNIA ACTION: Learn more about how Governor Newsom, in partnership with the California Legislature, built California into a national leader for reproductive freedom, and the steps the State has taken to protect abortion access – even if Mifepristone access is restricted.

People seeking abortion care, or information about reproductive health care in California, should visit Abortion.CA.Gov.