CNN’s Dana Bash sparred Sunday with Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after the congresswoman suggested the Biden administration should ignore a new ruling regarding an abortion pill.
A federal judge in Texas ruled Friday to halt the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, one of the two drugs used to induce an abortion. The decision consequently halted approval of the pill across the nation, though it does not go into effect for another week to allow the government time to appeal. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled the initial 2000 approval of the drug as well as the recent FDA decision permitting the drug to be prescribed through telemedicine was illegal.
At nearly the same time, however, Obama appointee U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice issued an order for officials to not restrict access to the drug in at least 17 states where Democrats sued in an effort to preserve availability. (RELATED: Texas Mother Arrested After Trying To Force Abortion Pills On Teen Daughter)
“You called on the Biden administration to … just to simply ignore the court ruling,” Bash said. “That’s a pretty stunning position if you think about it, in the abstract about the notion of just ignoring a judge’s position. So my question is, when this case is resolved by the Supreme Court, should the administration follow that decision, if that decision ends up banning this abortion drug?”
“I want to take a step back and dig into the grounds around ignoring this preliminary ruling as well. There is an extraordinary amount of precedent for this. There is a term known as agency non-acquiescence, and this has been used. And for the folks saying this is a first, that this is precedent setting. It is not. The Trump administration also did this very thing, but also it has happened before. The idea of consistency in governance until there is a higher court ruling is not an unprecedented thing to happen. In fact, when the Trump administration did it, it was arguably through a much, you know, a very grave issue when it came to DACA,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that the Trump administration did not take the proper steps to end DACA and ordered the program reinstated. The Trump administration, in spite of the ruling, only processed renewals and did not accept first-time applicants.
Ocasio-Cortez argued the ruling makes a “mockery of our law” and that the administration has “an enforcement discretion.”
“Should that apply if the Supreme Court upholds the Texas judge’s decision?” Bash asked.
“You know, I think one of the things that I think we need to examine is the grounds of that ruling. But I do not believe that the courts have the authority over the FDA that they just asserted. And I do believe it creates a crisis. Should the Supreme Court do that, it would essentially institute a national abortion ban,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ocasio-Cortez made a similar plea to the Biden administration Friday, telling CNN flatly the administration “should ignore this ruling.”