Statement from Vice President Harris on Fifth Circuit’s Decision in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA
Last night, the Fifth Circuit issued a decision which invalidates the scientific, independent judgment of the FDA about when and how a medicine is available to Americans. The Justice Department has already announced that they are seeking emergency relief from the Supreme Court.
More than 20 years ago, the FDA approved medication abortion as safe and effective for the American people. Last week, a Texas district court ruled to block access to this medication in every state in the country.
The Fifth Circuit’s decision—just like the district court’s—second-guesses the agency’s medical experts. If this decision stands, no medication—from chemotherapy drugs, to asthma medicine, to blood pressure pills, to insulin—would be safe from attacks. This decision threatens the rights of Americans across the country, who can look in their medicine cabinets and find medication prescribed by a doctor because the FDA engaged in a process to determine the efficacy and safety of that medication.
This lawsuit is the next step to a nationwide abortion ban. The decision severely limits access to mifepristone, standing between doctors and their patients. President Biden and our Administration remain firmly committed to protecting access to medication abortion, as the President and I have made clear since the day of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs.
There is a reproductive health care crisis in America. Our Administration will continue fighting to protect women’s health and the right to make decisions about one’s own body.