Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tuesday over the agency’s guidance mandating pharmacies provide abortion pills regardless of state law.
The HHS issued the guidance in July 2022, citing federal anti-discrimination law and threatening to pull Medicaid and Medicare funds from pharmacies that do not comply. The lawsuit argues that the guidance contradicts the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, which found no constitutional right to an abortion and kicked the ability to pass regulations back to the state level.
“The guidance makes clear that as recipients of federal financial assistance, including Medicare and Medicaid payments, pharmacies are prohibited under law from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in their programs and activities,” the HHS wrote last July.
Paxton contends that this is part of the Biden administration’s “war against Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health” that started the day the decision was announced. (RELATED: ‘Disregard For The Safety Of Women’: Pro-Life Doctors Blast FDA’s Decision To Offer Abortion Pills At Pharmacies)
“The Biden Administration knows that it has no legal authority to institute this radical abortion agenda, so now it’s trying to intimidate every pharmacy in America by threatening to withhold federal funds,” said Paxton in a statement. “It’s not going to work. Texas and several other states across the country have dutifully passed laws to protect the unborn, and we are not going to back down just because unelected bureaucrats in Washington want to create illegal, extremist federal policies.”
I’m filing a new lawsuit against the Biden Admin to stop unlawful guidance issued by HHS that would force every pharmacy in America to transform into an abortion-on-demand clinic or face the loss of Medicaid and Medicare funds.https://t.co/Q06mYagrO1
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) February 7, 2023
“[W]hether the Biden Administration likes it or not, the question of abortion is up to the people’s elected representatives—not unelected bureaucrats,” the lawsuit states. “The Biden Administration’s attempt to inject itself into that question is both procedurally and substantively illegal … It usurps pharmacies’ duty to comply with Texas law.”
Paxton’s lawsuit comes as a decision is expected soon on another high-profile abortion case pending in a Texas district court, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in which the plaintiffs argue that the FDA does not have the authorization to approve mifepristone, one of the two drugs used in a chemical abortion.
Chemical abortions account for more than half of abortions annually in the United States.
The HHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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