The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Biden administration’s appeal regarding a lower-court ruling that imposed restrictions on access to abortion pills. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August which deemed the FDA’s actions, under both the Obama and Biden administrations, as illegal concerning the prescription of the popular abortifacient mifepristone.
Initially approved with stringent safety standards by the FDA, mifepristone was subject to in-person prescription and administration under medical supervision, with the approved period of use limited to seven weeks gestation. In 2016, the Obama administration relaxed these standards, extending the period of use to ten weeks gestation. The Biden administration, citing the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, further lowered safety standards, allowing telemedicine prescriptions and the mailing of the drug to women seeking chemical abortions.
National Review reports that a group of concerned Texas doctors and pro-life advocates challenged the FDA’s rollback of what they considered crucial safety standards. The 5th Circuit Court sided with them, asserting that the FDA had acted unlawfully in 2016 and later under the Biden administration. If upheld, this decision would prohibit telemedicine prescriptions and the mailing of mifepristone, significantly impeding the interstate exchange of abortion pills and dealing a substantial blow to pro-choice groups.
The 5th Circuit’s ruling is currently on hold, awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision. The justices are expected to hear arguments in the coming months, with a decision anticipated by the end of June. This case holds considerable implications for the accessibility of abortion pills and the ongoing debate surrounding reproductive rights in the United States. The Supreme Court’s ruling will shape the landscape of abortion regulations, influencing the balance between safety standards and women’s access to reproductive healthcare services.
DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence
In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”
Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.
“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.
The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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