On Tuesday, the state of Texas filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration over a federal rule forcing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for abortion pills.
As reported by ABC News, Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) first issued the new rules in July of last year, demanding that some 60,000 pharmacies across the country carry abortion pills. Any pharmacies that refused to do so would be found guilty of violating federal law, even though no such law actually exists in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas) filed the lawsuit in the Western District of Texas Midland Division, pointing out in the suit that the Supreme Court’s ruling means that abortion-related laws can now only be decided at the state level, not by the federal government. As such, pharmacies that are being forced to provide abortion pills by the federal government are being forced to violate state law.
“The Biden Administration knows that it has no legal authority to institute this radical abortion agenda, so now it’s trying to intimidate every pharmacy in America by threatening to withhold federal funds,” said Paxton in a statement. “It’s not going to work.”
“Texas and several other states across the country have dutifully passed laws to protect the unborn,” Paxton added. “And we are not going to back down just because unelected bureaucrats in Washington want to create illegal, extremist federal policies.”
The Biden Administration tried to implement a similar policy last month, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowing Americans to order the abortion drug mifepristone through retail pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens. But a group of 20 state attorneys general, led by Missouri’s Andrew Bailey (R-Mo.), sent a letter to CVS and Walgreens warning them that providing the drug would be illegal in some states.
“Federal law expressly prohibits using the mail to send or receive any drug that will ‘be used or applied for producing abortion’,” Bailey wrote in the letter. “The text could not be clearer: ‘every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion…shall not be conveyed in the mails.’ And anyone who ‘knowingly takes any such thing from the mails for the purpose of circulating’ is guilty of a federal crime.”
Such feuds between the federal government and the state government are a result of the partisan battle over the issue of abortion after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade 49 years later; the ruling by the court’s majority determined that Roe was incorrect in declaring that the Constitution guaranteed a federal “right” to an abortion, and instead returned the issue to the states to be decided on a state-by-state basis. Since then, in addition to a handful of Democrat-led states passing radical pro-abortion laws, the Biden White House has attempted to circumvent the Dobbs ruling through federal regulations rather than legislation.