The Biden administration is contesting the Texas federal judge’s finding that a popular abortion pill had an incorrect approval more than 20 years ago, endangering people’s access to the medication.
According to a document in the case, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals appeal. Trump appointee Kacsmaryk granted the government one week after his decision to submit an appeal and ask for emergency relief before it went into force.
The Justice Department (DOJ) vehemently disagrees and intends to appeal the judgment, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland, who criticized it in a statement.
“Today’s decision overturns the FDA’s expert judgment, rendered over two decades ago, that mifepristone is safe and effective. The Department will continue to defend the FDA’s decision,” Garland said.
The FDA is not allowed to “change the status quo and rights as it pertains to the availability of Mifepristone,” the abortion pill, in 17 states and Washington, D.C., according to another order by a federal court in Washington state, he said.
A higher court, and potentially ultimately the Supreme Court, could intervene as a result of the inconsistent decisions.
The tweet below confirms the news:
BREAKING: DOJ announces they will file an appeal of the federal judge's abortion pill ban ruling and seek a stay pending appeal.
"The [DOJ] strongly disagrees with the decision…The Department is committed to protecting Americans’ access to legal reproductive care." pic.twitter.com/GCKSKTaUTK
— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) April 8, 2023
In a statement, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, called the judgment a “regressive verdict” from a single state’s court that might have national repercussions.
“We will vigorously fight this unprecedented decision in court. We have appealed the decision and will seek a stay,” he said.
He noted that some medical providers prescribe mifepristone for managing miscarriages, which can be “one of the most difficult times in a women’s life.”
“Today’s decision jeopardizes the health of women across the country,” he said. “It undermines our nation’s entire system of drug approval. It opens the door for courts to overturn FDA’s evidence-based decisions for purely political or ideological reasons.”
In a statement, President Biden announced that his government will challenge the Texas decision. Obama said that he and Vice President Harris will “continue to lead the battle” to defend the right to an abortion and to a woman’s autonomy over her own health.
“But let’s be clear – the only way to stop those who are committed to taking away women’s rights and freedoms in every state is to elect a Congress who will pass a law restoring Roe versus Wade,” he said.
In America, a pill is often used to induce abortions rather than a surgical operation. One of the two medications used in the nation for medical abortion is mifepristone.
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