WASHINGTON (AP) The nation’s top health official said Sunday that a court ruling threatening the availability of a main drug used in medication abortion was not America” and he 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 drug thats proven itself safe. Millions of women have used this drug around the world.

He stressed that for now, women do have access to the abortion medication mifepristone after a federal judge in Texas, Donald Trump-appointee Matthew Kacsmaryk, put his ruling from Friday on hold for a week so federal officials could file a challenge. The drug was approved in 2000 by the Food and Drug Administration, which is overseen by the Health and Human Services Department headed by Becerra.

For America’s sake and for women’s sake, we have to prevail in this, he said.

In Arizona, state Attorney General Kris Mayes says that the pending multi-state lawsuit against the FDA over mifepristone means Arizonans can still legally access the drug for now.

Mayes issued the following statement on the ruling:

“Despite Friday evening’s troubling and unfounded ruling by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Texas which seeks to undo the FDA’s approval of mifepristone 23 years ago, I want to assure Arizonans that legal access to the drug remains available for providers and patients in this state. This is due to an order issued by Judge Thomas O. Rice in Washington late Friday in a separate case that applies specifically to Arizona, 16 other states and the District of Columbia in a <a href=”https://www.kgun9.com/news/state/ag-kris-mayes-joins-multi-state-lawsuit-on-abortion-drug-restrictions” data-cms-id=”00000186-85dc-d3ad-af86-afddef930002″ data-cms-href=”https://www.kgun9.com/news/state/ag-kris-mayes-joins-multi-state-lawsuit-on-abortion-drug-restrictions” link-data=”{&quot;cms.site.owner&quot;:{&quot;_ref&quot;:&quot;00000166-21e3-db7f-a1fe-f3e78bbc0000&quot;,&quot;_type&quot;:&quot;ae3387cc-b875-31b7-b82d-63fd8d758c20&quot;},&quot;cms.content.publishDate&quot;:1681150138885,&quot;cms.content.publishUser&quot;:{&quot;_ref&quot;:&quot;00000180-628b-d02d-ad85-77efac9a0000&quot;,&quot;_type&quot;:&quot;6aa69ae1-35be-30dc-87e9-410da9e1cdcc&quot;},&quot;cms.content.updateDate&quot;:1681150138885,&quot;cms.content.updateUser&quot;:{&quot;_ref&quot;:&quot;00000180-628b-d02d-ad85-77efac9a0000&quot;,&quot;_type&quot;:&quot;6aa69ae1-35be-30dc-87e9-410da9e1cdcc&quot;},&quot;link&quot;:{&quot;attributes&quot;:[],&quot;item&quot;:{&quot;_ref&quot;:&quot;00000186-85dc-d3ad-af86-afddef930002&quot;,&quot;_type&quot;:&quot;4f8e492c-6f2f-390e-bc61-f176d3a37ab9&quot;},&quot;_id&quot;:&quot;00000187-6c5b-d446-a78f-7ddf44330001&quot;,&quot;_type&quot;:&quot;c3f0009d-3dd9-3762-acac-88c3a292c6b2&quot;},&quot;linkText&quot;:&quot;multi-state coalition of plaintiffs&quot;,&quot;_id&quot;:&quot;00000187-6c5b-d446-a78f-7ddf44330000&quot;,&quot;_type&quot;:&quot;809caec9-30e2-3666-8b71-b32ddbffc288&quot;}”>multi-state coalition of plaintiffs</a>. I joined this challenge to protect Arizonans’ access to mifepristone, which has a long record of safe and effective use by millions of Americans over the last 23 years. In contrast, Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision flouts two decades of science and consensus in the medical community, and it will cause needless pain and suffering for patients. By dismissing pregnancy as merely a “normal” and “natural” process and minimizing its potential health risks, Judge Kacsmaryk insults patients and families nationwide. The decision also runs contrary to established legal principles. If upheld on appeal, it would mark the first time a court ordered the FDA to reverse its approval of a drug, endangering not only reproductive rights but also Americans’ ability to obtain crucial FDA-approved medications. To oppose Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling, my office and our multi-state partners will soon file an amicus brief in the Texas case and our recently established Reproductive Rights Unit will lead this work for my office. I remain firmly committed to fighting for every Arizonan’s right to make personal medical decisions in consultation with their doctor, family, and faith.”

TEAM COVERAGE: AG Kris Mayes joins multi-state lawsuit on abortion drug restrictions

Biden has said his administration would fight the Texas ruling. Kacsmaryk’s 67-page order gave the government seven days to appeal.

We intend to do everything to make sure its available to them not just in a week, but moving forward, period, because mifepristone is one of the safest and most effective medicines that we have seen over the last 20 years to help women with their health care, especially abortion care, Becerra said.

Asked whether he might recommend that the FDA ignore a ban, Becerra said, 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 over the legality of mifepristone.

Kacsmaryk’s decision ordering a hold on federal approval of mifepristone overruled decades of scientific approval. But a ruling at nearly the same time in Washington state from that U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice, a Barack Obama appointee, directed U.S. authorities not to make any changes that would restrict access to the drug in at least 17 states where Democrats sued in an effort to protect availability.

Becerra said Kacsmaryk’s order could have dire ramifications for the legality of any FDA-approved drug, such as vaccines, insulin or new Alzheimer’s drugs coming onto the market because it seeks to turn upside down the entire FDA approval process.

The former California attorney general acknowledged a good chance that the case will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, which last year overturned Roe v. Wade and curtailed access to abortion across the country.

If a judge decides to substitute his preference, his personal opinion for that of scientists and medical professionals, what drug isnt subject to some kind of legal challenge? So we have to go to court, he said.

Alluding to Kacsmaryk, the Cabinet secretary said: What you saw by that one judge in that one court, in that one state, thats not America. America goes by the evidence. America does whats fair. America does what is transparent and we can show that what we do is for the right reasons.

Appearing after Becerra on CNN, Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, said its important that we take care of women and have real discussions on womens health care but get off the abortion conversation. Women have a whole lot more other issues than just abortion. … Let’s talk about the other things that are happening in this world.


Expected abortion pill opinion may impact reproductive rights nationwide, again Gov. Hobbs vetoes SB 1600, says bill comes between doctors and patients

By Hope Yen (Associated Press)



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