Lawmakers call for FDA to ignore Texas abortion pill ruling

Some Democratic and Republican lawmakers said the FDA should ignore the Texas ruling that looks to rescind the agency's approval of an abortion pill, The Hill reported April 11. 

On April 7, a federal judge in Texas ordered a preliminary injunction to suspend mifepristone, which was approved in 2000 alongside another drug to terminate a pregnancy. The judge said the ruling will take effect April 14; meanwhile, the FDA, the drugmaker and the Justice Department appeal the decision. 

Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Republican South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace called on the FDA to disregard the ruling, according to The Hill

The agency has enforcement discretion, meaning it can choose to not apply regulations on manufacturers to ensure supply, such as allowing facilities that don't have authorization to make hand sanitizer at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The enforcement discretion is akin to a police officer opting to not penalize a jaywalker, a law expert told The Hill

The final outcome remains unclear: A federal judge in Washington ruled to keep mifepristone available, some states are stockpiling abortion pills, the Justice Department asked for a longer stay to allow the abortion pill to remain available during the legal case, and the issue is likely to head to the Supreme Court because of the conflicting federal rulings.

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