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- Tony Gonzales said women face “other issues” than abortion when asked about the fate of mifepristone.
- Gonzales argued that the Biden administration was stepping on states’ rights by appealing the mifepristone ruling.
- A federal judge in Texas ordered a hold on the drug’s decades-old federal approval on Friday.
A Republican congressman from Texas dodged questions about a federal judge’s ruling on the drug mifepristone on Sunday, arguing that “women have a whole lot of other issues than just abortion.”
Rep. Tony Gonzales made the remark on CNN’s “State of the Union” while discussing mifepristone, the drug commonly used in abortions and miscarriages that has found itself at the center of a heated legal debate.
While mifepristone has been widely available for more than two decades, a federal judge in Texas ordered a hold on the drug’s federal approval on Friday.
Almost immediately after, a federal judge from Washington state ordered that no changes be made to restrict access to the drug, leaving its legality up in the air.
The Biden administration is appealing the Texas judge’s ruling.
“I am a prolific pro-lifer, and I think it’s important that we protect the sanctity of life. I believe in state rights,” Gonzales said when asked about the situation on Sunday. “It’s very dangerous when you have the administration, the Biden administration, coming out and saying they may not uphold a ruling.”
Gonzales, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, added that if the administration wants to “not live up to this ruling, then we’re going to have a problem.”
“It may come to a point where House Republicans on the appropriations side have to defund FDA programs that don’t make sense,” he said.
The suggestion sparked pushback from CNN host Dana Bash, who asked whether the judge’s ruling, which would affect the whole country, is “the opposite of states’ rights?”
Gonzales replied that the “states started this” with the Texas ruling, but “now the federal government is coming in and dictating theirs.”
Mifepristone is also used to treat miscarriages. About 10% of clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriages, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“So, are they just on their own if this ruling is upheld?” Bash asked, citing an estimate that a million women experience a miscarriage every year in the United States.
“No, I think it’s important that we take care of women,” Gonzales said. “It’s important that we have real discussions on women’s health care and get off the abortion. Get off the abortion conversation. Women have a whole lot more other issues than just abortion.”