(Washington) The top US health official said Sunday that a court ruling threatening the availability of a lead drug used in medical abortion is “not America” and he doesn’t did not rule out defying the judge’s order if necessary.
“We want the courts to overturn this reckless decision,” Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s health secretary, told CNN’s State of the Union. We want, yes, that women continue to have access to a medicine that has been proven to be safe. Millions of women have used this drug around the world. »
He pointed out that for now, women have access to the abortion drug mifepristone after a Texas federal judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk, appointed by Donald Trump, suspended his decision on Friday for a week so that the federal officials can file a challenge. The drug was approved in 2000 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services headed by Mr. Becerra.
President Biden has said his administration will fight the Texas decision. Judge Kacsmaryk’s 67-page order gave the government seven days to appeal.
“We intend to do everything to ensure that (the drug) is available not just in a week, but in the future, period, because mifepristone is one of the safest and most effective drugs we’ve seen over the past 20 years to help women with their health care, especially abortion care,” Becerra said.
When asked if he could recommend the FDA ignore a ban, Mr. Becerra replied that “everything is on the table.”
There is uncertainty about access to the most commonly used method of abortion in the United States following two separate and conflicting court rulings in Texas and Washington on the legality of mifepristone.
Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision to suspend federal approval of mifepristone has reversed decades of scientific approval. But a ruling handed down almost at the same time in Washington state by Barack Obama-appointed District Judge Thomas O. Rice ordered U.S. authorities not to make any changes that would restrict access to the drug in at least 17 States where Democrats have continued an effort to protect its availability.
Secretary Becerra said Judge Kacsmaryk’s order could have dire consequences for the legality of any FDA-approved drugs, such as vaccines, insulin, or new Alzheimer’s drugs coming to market. because it seeks to “upend” the entire FDA approval process.
Mr. Becerra, who is the former California attorney general, acknowledged there was a “good chance” the case would ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, which last year overturned Roe v. . Wade and restricts access to abortion nationwide.
“If a judge decides to substitute his preference, his personal opinion, for that of scientists and medical professionals, what drug is not subject to some sort of legal challenge? So we have to go to court,” he claimed.
“What you saw by that judge in that court, in that state, that’s not our country,” Becerra said. America stands by the evidence. America is doing what is right. America does what is transparent and we can show that what we are doing is for the right reasons. »