The US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, has stated that a Texas court’s decision to ban the abortion drug mifepristone could endanger other medications.
As per The Independent, in an interview with CNN on Sunday, Mr. Becerra stated that the decision calls into question the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) entire drug approval process and threatens access to vaccines, insulin, and potential Alzheimer’s treatments.
“If a judge decides to substitute his preference, his personal opinion, for that of scientists and medical professionals, what drug would not be subject to legal challenge?” Mr. Becerra stated on Sunday.
US district judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled on Friday in Texas that the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, which occurred more than two decades ago, was improper and should be suspended with a seven-day notice.
Within hours, another district judge in the state of Washington reached the opposite conclusion. The White House has vowed to appeal Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling, meaning the case will almost certainly reach the conservative-dominated US Court of Appeals and possibly the Supreme Court.
Mr. Becerra further stated on Sunday, “Therefore, we must go to court, and for the sake of America and women, we must prevail… I have to believe that an appeals court, the Supreme Court, or whatever court understands that this single judge’s ruling invalidates access to a variety of drugs, not just mifepristone.”
CNN host Dana Bash asked Mr. Becerra whether the White House would be willing to disregard the ruling if it were overturned by a higher court “Every option is available. The President stated this long before the [Roe v. Wade] decision was issued. Each possibility is on the table.”
Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June, abortion pills have emerged as a new front in the battle over abortion rights. According to Axios, nearly half of U.S. states have banned or restricted access to abortion pills.
In November, conservative activists filed a lawsuit against the FDA alleging that mail-order mifepristone violates the Comstock Act, a 150-year-old law named after the 19th-century Christian crusader Anthony Comstock that prohibited the mailing of “obscene” materials such as contraception, sex education books, pornography, and abortion drugs.
Judge Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by former president Donald Trump and who reportedly campaigned against gay marriage and transgender rights prior to his appointment to the bench, held otherwise.