Joe Biden HHS secretary Xavier Becerra says ignoring court order against abortion pill possible

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Sunday that the Biden administration is considering ignoring an order by a federal judge in Texas halting the government’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone.

Mr. Becerra emphasized that “everything is on the table” — including violating a court order — in the wake of U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling last week that the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process of the drug two decades ago was unlawful.

In a competing and contradictory ruling on the same day from a separate case in Washington state involving the abortion drug, a different federal judge issued a ruling protecting the medication. 

“I got to believe that an appeals court, the Supreme Court or whatever court, has to understand that this ruling by this one judge overturns not just access to mifepristone but possibly any number of drugs,” Mr. Becerra said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Everything is on the table. The president said what way back when the Dobbs decision came out. Every option is on the table.”

The administration has filed a notice of appeal for the Texas case that is expected to reach the Supreme Court, whose conservative majority last year overturned long-standing federal protections for abortion under Roe v. Wade known as the Dobbs ruling.  

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, is among the liberal voices who have suggested the administration should ignore the federal judge.

“There’s an exterminatory amount of precedence for this … The Trump administration also did this very thing, but also it has happened before,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in a separate interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The idea of consistency in governance until there is a higher court ruling is not an unprecedented thing to happen.”

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