Biden Will ‘Fight’ to Nullify Abortion Pill Decision
On Friday, a federal judge in Texas rescinded a two-decade-old approval of a secure and efficient abortion pill, the latest salvo in the United States’ conservative war against reproductive choice.
If it remains, the ruling by a Donald Trump officeholder would overturn FDA approval for a drug widely used to end unplanned children.
On Friday, both the FDA and the Justice Department filed objections against the ruling, with President Joe Biden promising to “fight this ruling.”
“The litigation, and this court decision, are another unprecedented step in denying women’s basic freedoms and endangering their wellness,” he said in a statement.
However, in a different trial, a judge in Washington state ruled shortly afterward that availability to the drug must be preserved in much more than a dozen states, demonstrating how deep the abortion divide runs in US society.
Due to the conflicting legal opinions, as well as the appeals, the case will likely end up just before Supreme Court.
Last year, the conservative-dominated panel voided the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which had ingrained a woman’s right to abortion for half a century.
The Texas ruling elicited an immediate response.
Biden described it as an ideological assault on women’s rights and liberties.
“The court… has substituted its judgment for the FDA, the expert organization in charge of drug approval,” he said. “If this ruling is upheld, virtually no FDA-approved prescription will be immune from such kinds of political and ideological attacks.”
Allowing judges to intervene in “exhaustive, evidence-based, scientific analysis of… well-established FDA processes is reckless and dangerous,” according to Jack Resneck, president of the powerful American Medical Association.
Planned Parenthood, one of the country’s largest pro-abortion organizations, called the judgment by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a former conservative activist affiliated with the religious right, an abuse on science.
“We should all be outraged that one jury can voluntarily reject medical evidence and overturn the FDA’s authorization of a medication that has been used responsibly and safely for more than 2 decades,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the group.
Kacsmaryk’s decision came after an anti-abortion coalition tried to sue to halt the wide coverage of mifepristone.
While he remained the FDA’s 23-year-old approval, he also suspended “the application of this opinion and request for seven days” to allow for appeals.
Anti-abortion activists applauded the decision.
“Today’s Texas decision is a victory for women’s and girls’ health and safety,” said Katie Glenn of Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America.
“The decision reaffirms that pregnancy is not a disease and that abortion is not health care.” Finally, the FDA is being held to account for flagrant violations of its own regulations.”
The case came to his court through what critiques call “judge-shopping,” in which plaintiffs file a lawsuit in a district where the judge has a history of rulings in their favor.
Federal judges in the United States have the authority to issue rulings with national legal ramifications.
According to polls, the majority of Americans support abortion access.
However, the issue is highly charged among those on the right, particularly evangelical Christians.
A proportion of Republican-dominated states have started to restrict abortion access and have debuted legal challenges to what many thought was settled law.
Last year’s Supreme Court decision was viewed as a significant victory for the movement.
However, it has proven unpopular among voters.
According to some observers, Republicans’ failure to capture the Senate in last year’s midterm elections, as well as their poor showing in the House, was at least partly due to their support for the issue.
Medication is used in more than half of all abortions performed in the United States.
Mifepristone is one of two drugs that can be used in the United States during the first ten weeks of pregnancy.
It has a long track record of safety, and the FDA estimates that 5.6 million Americans have used it to end pregnancies since its approval.