Biden administration tries to BLOCK Texas abortion pill ruling: Government says judge’s ‘unwarranted’ decision undermines the FDA
- Justice Department appeals Texas ruling banning abortion drug
- ‘We’re ready to fight,’ said Karine Jean-Pierre
- White House expects case to go to Supreme Court
The Justice Department on Monday appealed a Texas court ruling that invalidated the approval of the most commonly used abortion drug in the U.S., calling the decision ‘extraordinary and unprecedented.’
The lawyers for President Joe Biden‘s administration argued the challengers had no right to file the lawsuit since they were not personally harmed by the abortion pill.
The appeal was filed in response to Texas Judge Matthew Kascmaryk, a Donald Trump appointee who, on Friday, ordered the Federal Drug Administration to revoke its approval of mifepristone — one of the two medications used in more than half of all abortions in the United States.
The DoJ asked the 5th Circuit judges to put Kascmaryk’s order on hold until their appeal is ruled upon.
‘We’re ready to fight,’ said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
‘If allowed to take effect, the court’s order would thwart FDA’s scientific judgment and severely harm women, particularly those for whom mifepristone is a medical or practical necessity,’ the Justice Department wrote.
Whatever the right-leaning 5th Circuit rules, the White House expects the fight to continue.
‘It probably is gonna go up to the Supreme Court, which we feel pretty confident that we’re gonna win,’ White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at her briefing on Monday.
‘We’re ready to fight,’ she said. ‘We stand by the FDA’s approval.’
The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of mifepristone in 2000 but the plaintiffs in Texas argued the FDA didn’t adequately review mifepristone’s safety. It is one of two drugs used for medication abortion in the United States, along with misoprostol, which is also used to treat other medical conditions.
Medical groups point out mifepristone has been used by millions of women over the past 23 years with a low complication rate.
Complicating matters, a federal judge in Washington state on Friday issued a preliminary injunction in a different case ordering the FDA not to make any changes that would restrict access to mifepristone in at least 17 states where Democrats had sued.
People march through downtown Amarillo to protest a lawsuit to ban the abortion drug mifepristone
The dueling decisions could mean the Supreme Court takes up the issue even faster.
Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone in the body and is used with the drug misoprostol to end pregnancy within the first 10 weeks.
More than half of abortions in the U.S. are now medication abortions, and the vast majority of those involve that two-drug protocol.
But the second medication in that regimen, misoprostol, also can be used alone to induce abortion.
Several states are now stockpiling misoprostol ahead of uncertainity about how much longer mifepristone will be available.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his state will secure an emergency stockpile of up to 2 million pills of misoprostol.
Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healy said her state has stockpiled some 15,000 mifepristone pills and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced his state had about three years’ worth of mifepristone on-hand.
And House Democrats took a largely symbolic step on Monday by introducing legislation that affirms the FDA‘s approval of mifepristone.
Democrats have been critical of the Texas decision. Progressive lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York called on the Biden administration to ignore the ban completely.
Trump-appointed Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk ordered last week a halt on the abortion pill mifepristone over fears surrounding its safety
A pro-abortion protester displays mifepristone, an FDA approved drug for medical abortions,during a counter-protest in New York City in March
Democrats claim that women’s rights are under attack in the U.S. with the 6-3 conservative majority Supreme Court ending decades of precedent set in the Roe decision.
Republican-led states have been implementing stricter abortion laws in the wake of the ruling last summer – and now the abortion pill is facing a ban.