Texas sues Biden administration over pharmacy abortion drug mandate

by Jacob Fuller

Vicky Arias, FISM News

The state of Texas on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration petitioning the court to end guidance from the federal government that requires pharmacies to dispense abortion drugs to pregnant women.

In June of 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance “reminding [pharmacies] of their obligation” to dispense medications, including abortion drugs.

The guidance came just weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that returned abortion law back to the hands of the states instead of the federal government.

The lawsuit argues that the federal government is circumventing the Supreme Court decision and attempting to retain control of abortion law on a federal level by supplying a loophole for medical professionals to continue providing abortions to patients, regardless of state law.

The HHS guidance tells nearly 60,000 pharmacies nationwide that “as recipients of federal financial assistance, including Medicare and Medicaid payments, pharmacies are prohibited under law from discriminating … in their programs and activities … [including] supplying prescribed medications.”

The Texas lawsuit contends that the Biden administration is defying the June 2022 Supreme Court ruling by overriding states’ authority to govern themselves and mandating pharmacies to fill abortion drug prescriptions.

“The Biden administration has repeatedly attempted to impose through executive [order] a federal right to abortion that does not exist,” the lawsuit states. “The administration … issued a ‘guidance’ document … that, if allowed to remain effective, require[s] pharmacies to dispense abortion-inducing drugs in violation of state law … purportedly as a condition of receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds.”

The lawsuit explains that the “pharmacy mandate” effectively “usurps pharmacies’ duty to comply with Texas law.”

The usage of abortion drugs to end the lives of unborn babies has risen in recent years, eliciting a cause for alarm from pro-life advocates.

A 2022 analysis of preliminary data showed that abortions induced by abortifacient medication “accounted for 54% of all abortions,” according to the Guttmacher Institute. Additionally, the Pew Research Center indicates that “2020 marked the first time that a majority of legal abortions in the U.S. involved pills: 53%, according to both the CDC and Guttmacher. That was up from 44% in 2019 and 40% in 2018, according to the CDC.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton described the potential illegality of the federal ‘pharmacy mandate.’

“The Biden Administration knows that it has no legal authority to institute this radical abortion agenda,” Paxton said, “so now it’s trying to intimidate every pharmacy in America by threatening to withhold federal funds. It’s not going to work.”