WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Prominent Democrats are urging the Biden administration to ignore a ruling by a federal judge blocking the sale of abortion-inducing drugs, prompting debate even among some liberals as to the president’s ability to defy the judiciary.
On April 7, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued an order suspending the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) approval of the abortion drug mifepristone, finding the agency did not adequately investigate its long-term effects. The same day, Judge Judge Thomas Rice ruled that the pill should remain on the market in 15 states plus the District of Columbia.
The Biden administration challenged the ruling, and on Wednesday night a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals partially blocked Kacsmaryk’s decision, ruling that mifepristone should remain available but keeping suspended the administration’s approval of dispensing it via the mail.
Townhall reports that Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon have both urged the White House to simply ignore Kacsmaryk’s ruling, which would set a wide-ranging precedent sure to be exploited by both sides.
“I believe that the Biden administration should ignore this ruling,” Ocasio-Cortez said, claiming it was part of an “unprecedented and dramatic erosion of the legitimacy of the courts.” CNN host Anderson Cooper questioned the wisdom of allowing presidents to pick and choose which court decisions they honor, but the lawmaker dismissed such concerns.
“There is no way this decision has a basis in law,” declared Wyden. “It is instead rooted in conservatives’ dangerous and undemocratic takeover of our country’s institutions. No matter what happens in seven days, I believe the Food and Drug Administration has the authority to ignore this ruling, which is why I’m again calling on President Biden and the FDA to do just that.”
A 2020 open letter from a coalition of pro-life groups to then-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn noted that the FDA’s own adverse reporting system says the “abortion pill has resulted in over 4,000 reported adverse events since 2000, including 24 maternal deaths. Adverse events are notoriously underreported to the FDA, and as of 2016, the FDA only requires abortion pill manufacturers to report maternal deaths.”
Pro-lifers warn that with the Biden administration completely eliminating requirements that abortion pills be taken under any medical supervision or with medical support close by, those events are certain to increase.
Yet the White House and the abortion lobby have determined that, with the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade last summer restoring states’ ability to decide their own abortion laws, easy distribution of abortion pills will be one of their chief methods of preserving abortion “access.” In November 2022, Operation Rescue reported that a net decrease of 36 abortion facilities in 2022 has led to the lowest number in almost 50 years, but the chemical abortion business has “surged,” with 64 percent of new facilities built last year specializing in dispensing mifepristone and misoprostol.
Other left-wing strategies to promote abortion “access” include legal protection and financial support of interstate abortion travel, attempting to enshrine “rights” to the practice in state constitutions, and attempting to construct new abortion facilities near borders shared by pro-life and pro-abortion states.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand the Roe status quo by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws. Democrats currently lack the votes to do so, but whether they get those votes is sure to be one of the major issues of the 2024 elections.