With the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing — for now with arguments from the Biden administration to preserve the availability of the prescription drug mifepristone, which is used in abortions conducted via medication, the GOP has faced another setback.
The White House shared prepared remarks from the president on the occasion of the high court’s decision. In the statement, Biden both stuck by the fight to protect the accessibility of mifepristone and encouraged action in Congress, which could be secured through future Democratic victories, including in the 2024 elections. When Democrats still controlled the legislative chamber before the outcome of the 2022 elections was enacted, the House actually already passed a bill to put protections for abortion into federal law after court protections were undone, and in the Senate, it was primarily the commitment to the filibuster from Democratic members Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona (who’s since left the party) and Joe Manchin of West Virginia that ensured the initiative didn’t move forward. In other words, the push was actually rather close to success, ending up just a couple of critical votes off the target.
Democrats have since added a seat to their Senate majority, which is a promising first step, with the generally progressive John Fetterman now in office in Pennsylvania. In forthcoming races, Democrats may have a chance to flip Senate seats in locales like Florida (maybe) and replace Sinema, who will be up for re-election should she choose to run. Reaching 51 Democratic Senators in favor of even filibuster changes could do it, should Democrats retake the House. In the White House, the polling situation for a Trump-Biden match-up in 2024 is similar to what was seen before 2020, suggesting Biden could sweep it again.
“As a result of the Supreme Court’s stay, mifepristone remains available and approved for safe and effective use while we continue this fight in the courts,” Biden’s statement said on Friday. “I continue to stand by FDA’s evidence-based approval of mifepristone, and my Administration will continue to defend FDA’s independent, expert authority to review, approve, and regulate a wide range of prescription drugs. The stakes could not be higher for women across America. I will continue to fight politically-driven attacks on women’s health. But let’s be clear – the American people must continue to use their vote as their voice, and elect a Congress who will pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v Wade.”