NJ Gov. Murphy would consider defying Supreme Court if justices back abortion pill ban

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday said he would consider defying the Supreme Court and continue to provide mifepristone if the court rules in favor of a ban on the abortion pill

When asked if the state would prescribe mifepristone after such a ruling, Murphy told MSNBC: “To be determined.”

“When I say everything is on the table, Katy, I mean that. This action generally, whether it’s mifepristone, or whether it’s North Carolina or South Carolina, or Florida at six weeks,” he said in an interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur, also referring to other abortion restrictions on the state level. 

“This is going to cost peoples’ lives. It’s going to cost them health, it’s also going to cost peoples’ lives, women in particular sadly. That’s what’s at stake, we’ll do whatever it takes to save lives,” said Murphy, a Democrat. 

Murphy’s remarks come after the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard arguments in a case that could force mifepristone off the market nationwide, including in states where abortion is legal. 

The case hinges on whether the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill should be rolled back.

The closely watched legal fight is likely to wind up at the Supreme Court again, which already intervened last month to keep the drug available as the case makes its way through the court system. 

Even if the high court rules in favor of a mifepristone ban, Justice Samuel Alito has suggested the FDA could refuse to comply with it.

Alito said in a dissent last month that the FDA could use its enforcement discretion as the litigation played out and allow Danco Laboratories, the manufacturer of mifepristone, to continue distributing the abortion pill.

Mifepristone, used in combination with another drug, misoprostol, accounts for about half of all abortions domestically.

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