Jan 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated a requirement that women visit a hospital or clinic to obtain a drug used for medication-induced abortions, lifting an order by a lower court allowing the drug to be mailed or delivered as a safety measure during the coronavirus pandemic.
The justices granted a request by President Donald Trump's administration to lift a federal judge's July order that had suspended the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's rule requiring in-person visits for the duration of the pandemic.
The pandemic is still raging nationwide. Coronavirus infections remain at record highs in many U.S. states. Nearly 130,000 Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of midnight on Monday and the country had reported 22.5 million infections and 376,188 deaths.
The court's three liberal justices said they would have denied the Trump administration's request.
U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Greenbelt, Maryland in July found that due to the health risks that COVID-19 poses, the in-person requirements "place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a medication abortion" and likely violate their constitutional rights.
(Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; editing by Grant McCool)