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National Review
National Review
8 Apr 2023
Ari Blaff

NextImg:AOC, Leading Democrats Call on White House to Ignore Abortion-Pill Injunction

Leading Democrats are condemning a federal judge’s ruling that suspends of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the abortion-pill mifepristone and demanding the White House ignore it.

“I believe that the Biden administration should ignore this ruling,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., Ny.) said on CNN on Friday night. AOC went on to condemn “deeply partisan” judges that have “engaged in unprecedented and dramatic erosion of the legitimacy of the courts,” adding that skepticism surrounding mifepristone was “unfounded.”

“The interesting thing when it comes to a ruling is that it relies on enforcement,” the New York representative noted. “And it is up to the Biden administration to enforce, to choose whether or not to enforce a ruling.”

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Senator Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) expressed similar alarm at the implications of the ruling by Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump-appointed U.S. district judge based in Texas.

“This devastating ruling has no basis in law and will ban the most common method of abortion in EVERY single state. President Biden can and must ignore this ruling and keep mifepristone on the market and accessible for every woman in America,” the Oregonian senator tweeted Friday night following the news.

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Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling on Friday suspended the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, which dates back to 2000.

“The Court does not second-guess FDA’s decision-making lightly,” Kacsmaryk wrote in the 67-page opinion published Friday night. “But here, FDA acquiesced on its legitimate safety concerns — in violation of its statutory duty — based on plainly unsound reasoning and studies that did not support its conclusions.”

However, Kacsmaryk’s injunction stopped short of completely withdrawing or suspending the federal agency’s approval of the abortion drug over the objections of pro-life groups.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed in November by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, an organization representing pro-life medical groups, alongside four pro-life doctors. The filing claims that the FDA never had the authority to approve the chemical-abortion regimen, which was first developed in France in the 1980s.

The two-step process relies on mifepristone, a progesterone blocker to kill the unborn baby by depriving it of nutrients, followed by misoprostol, which causes uterine contractions to empty the uterus.

The lawsuit further claims the FDA failed to properly study the safety of the procedure and blocked doctors for nearly two decades from attempting to challenge its use, according to the lawsuit.

The backlash among Democrats was immediate following the publication of the ruling.

Attorney General Merrick Garland released an official statement “strongly disagreeing” with the ruling and insisting that the Justice Department “will be appealing the court’s decision and seeking a stay pending appeal.”

“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 added.

More than half of all abortions in the U.S. are now performed via chemical-abortion pills.