VP Harris: Abortion pill case could take ‘constitutional right’ from Americans

A looming Texas court decision on abortion pills could impact nationwide access to medication, Vice President Kamala Harris warned Friday, as she described abortion access as a “constitutional right.”

The decision — which could be handed down as early as Friday — could yank mifepristone off the market more than two decades after the pill, also used to treat miscarriage, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“This is not just an attack on women’s fundamental freedoms. It is an attack on the very foundation of our public health system,” Harris said during a White House meeting. . She was joined by American Academy of Family Physicians President Tochi Iroku-Malize, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists CEO Maureen Phipps, and other reproductive rights advocates and doctors groups.


“Those who would attack this process and the ability of the FDA to make a decision ought to look in their own medicine cabinets, to figure out whether they’re prepared to say those medications … should no longer be available to them. Because that is what we are talking about.”

It’s not just reproductive rights advocates making that argument. Though the biggest industry lobbies have held back from explicitly engaging with the lawsuit, they’ve expressed support for the FDA process broadly.


Biotech lobby BIO told STAT recently that it “supports FDA as the regulatory authority in the U.S.,” a sentiment echoed by pharmaceutical group PhRMA, which  called the agency “the gold standard for determining whether a medicine is safe and effective for people to use.”

But it is unclear what the federal government will  actually do to respond to the lawsuit, which was filed by the conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom in the Northern District of Texas. If the judge, a Trump appointee, rules in the group’s favor, manufacturers will be barred from shipping mifepristone even to abortion-legal states.

Even Harris, while deriding “partisan and political attacks” on the FDA’s authority and doctor-patient relationships, said the administration is essentially raising awareness about the implications of a possible abortion pill ban.

“We are here today to talk about what we will do to highlight this issue to make sure that people in America are aware of what is happening, so we can make sure that people in America are protected in terms of us fighting for their rights to have access to the medication that they need,” she said.

Source: STAT