The Biden administration filed an emergency motion Monday to stay a federal judge’s decision to suspend the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the abortion pill.
Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its motion Monday with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, calling the block on the pill’s approval an “extraordinary and unprecedented” decision that would “thwart FDA’s scientific judgment and severely harm women.” The DOJ already filed a notice of appeal Friday shortly after U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Texas issued a preliminary injunction that halted the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, the first of two drugs used in a chemical abortion.
“This harm would be felt throughout the country, given that mifepristone has lawful uses in every State,” the DOJ wrote in its motion. “The order would undermine healthcare systems and the reliance interests of businesses and medical providers.” (RELATED: ‘Significant Victory’: Federal Judge Requires FDA Reverse Approval Of Abortion Pill)
The injunction’s seven-day administrative stay, which the judge gave to allow time for appeal, should be extended until the case is resolved, the DOJ argued. It asked for a decision by noon on April 13 so the government can “seek relief in the Supreme Court if necessary.”
“In September 2000, FDA abandoned its safety proposals and acquiesced to the objections of the Population Council and Danco,” Kacsmaryk wrote in his Friday ruling. “Despite its ‘serious reservations’ about mifepristone’s safety, FDA approved a regimen that relied on a self-certification that a prescribing physician has the ability to diagnose ectopic pregnancies.”
Earlier today, the DOJ also requested clarification from the Eastern District of Washington court, which issued a conflicting ruling on Friday prohibiting the FDA from “altering the status quo and rights as it relates to the availability of Mifepristone.”
“The Court did not address the interaction between the two orders, presumably because they were issued less than 20 minutes apart,” the filing states.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Erin Hawley reacted to the DOJ’s emergency motion in a statement Monday.
“By illegally approving dangerous chemical abortion drugs, and imposing its mail-order abortion regime, the FDA put women in harm’s way, and the agency should be held accountable for its reckless actions,” she said. “Pregnancy is not an illness, and chemical abortion drugs don’t provide a therapeutic benefit—they can cause serious and life-threatening complications to the mother, in addition to ending a baby’s life.”
“The district court’s ruling last week was a significant victory for the doctors and medical associations we represent and, more importantly, the health and safety of women and girls,” Hawley continued. “ADF remains committed to their protection.”
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