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Democrats Introduce Bill Protecting Abortion Pills After Texas Judge Suspends FDA Approval

Two Democratic congress members introduced legislation Monday morning to affirm the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority to regulate abortion pills after a federal judge suspended the agency’s approval.

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Texas issued a preliminary injunction on Friday, giving the government seven days to appeal. In response, New York Rep. Pat Ryan and Texas Rep. Lizzie Fletcher reintroduced their “Protecting Reproductive Freedom Act” Monday, which would reaffirm the FDA’s authority to approve chemical abortion drugs and guarantee doctors’ ability to prescribe them via telehealth, according to Rep. Ryan’s office.

“A woman’s right to choose is one of our country’s foundational freedoms,” said Rep. Ryan in a statement. “These deeply personal and private medical decisions should be made by women and their families, not by extremist judges, courts, or politicians.”

Ryan said the decision has “nothing to do with science or medicine and everything to do with radical groups whose only goal is a national abortion ban.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom initially sued the FDA in November on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations and three doctors to challenge its authority to approve the pill.

“Once again, Texas is at the epicenter of attacks on the health and freedom of Americans with the unprecedented district court decision which, if enforced, would be devastating to women and families across our country and to our established drug-approval system,” Fletcher said in a statement. “It is critical that we do everything we can to preserve and protect the FDA’s authority to approve safe and effective medication, including abortion medication.”

The legislation is one of multiple ways Democrats are attempting to push back on the decision. On Friday, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the Biden administration should “ignore” the ruling. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra called the decision “reckless” on Sunday, telling CNN that the Biden administration is keeping “everything on the table” when it comes to handling the ruling.

President Joe Biden promised to fight the ruling on Friday, saying it was a “political, ideological attack.” The administration filed its appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit late Friday night.

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