Gov. Phil Murphy Warns 'Everything Is On Table' If Supreme Court Blocks Abortion Pill Access
Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday said “everything is on the table” if the Supreme Court decides to outlaw the abortion drug mifepristone, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and warned Republicans who are moving toward restricting reproductive rights that they are “playing with fire.”
Murphy said he and other Democratic governors across the country are exploring different options to respond to the crackdown on abortion, including placing bulk orders of mifepristone.
Asked by MSNBC’s Katy Tur if they would be willing to prescribe the pill in defiance of the Supreme Court if the 6-3 conservative supermajority blocks access to mifepristone, Murphy replied: “To be determined.”
“When I say everything is on the table, Katy, I mean that,” Murphy added.
Murphy said GOP decisions around abortion, whether it’s seeking to restrict mifepristone or Republican-led states limiting access to the procedure, are set to cost lives.
“So if that’s at stake, we’ll do whatever we can to save lives,” he said.
This comes as a three-judge panel in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals appears prepared to curb access to mifepristone, following arguments on Wednesday, in a case that could return to the Supreme Court.
Last month, Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Texas revoked the FDA’s approval of mifepristone and said it should be taken off the market.
But the Supreme Court blocked Kacsmaryk’s decision from going into effect, allowing mifepristone to remain available, at least for now.
Democratic governors in states including California and Massachusetts have already begun stockpiling the drug.
Meanwhile, North Carolina Republicans this week overrode Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a 12-week abortion ban, setting it up to go into effect July 1. The state became a safe haven for abortion in the South after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. The bill also includes a ban on medication abortion after 10 weeks of pregnancy.
“As a political matter, these folks are playing with fire,” Murphy said, adding that if North Carolina wasn’t considered a battleground state two weeks ago, “it is now.”