After the opinion, many were left wondering where that leaves so-called “abortion pills,” like Mifeprex (mifepristone) — which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medication abortions.
According to the agency, it’s used with another medication, misoprostol, to end an early pregnancy — one through 70 days of gestation.
The FDA first approved Mifeprex in 2000.
Garland said in a statement that the agency would protect providers and those seeking abortions in states where it is legal. He also said he would stand by the use of Mifepristone.
More than 90% of abortions take place in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, and more than half are now done with pills, not surgery, according to data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.
The decision of whether to allow abortion access now falls to individual states, 13 of which already had so-called trigger laws in place to ban abortion. Among those states poised to criminalize the act of providing abortion are: Kentucky, Louisiana, South Dakota, Idaho, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.
The ruling came more than a month after the leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take the step.
Joining Alito were Thomas and Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett. The last three justices are Trump appointees. Thomas first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.