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Catholic pharmacist challenges Biden admin's illegal abortion drug mandate

ADF attorneys available for media interviews following hearing Friday

Thursday, Jan 25, 2024

WHO:  Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following oral arguments in State of Texas and Mayo Pharmacy v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 1:00 p.m. CST, Friday, Jan. 26

WHERE:  U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Midland-Odessa Division, Courtroom 3, 200 E. Wall St., Midland. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Specialist Hayden Sledge at (205) 767-4705.

MIDLAND, Texas – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews Friday following oral arguments in State of Texas and Mayo Pharmacy v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Midland-Odessa Division. ADF attorneys are representing a North Dakota pharmacy in a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s unlawful use of a federal agency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to advance its radical abortion agenda.

In March, ADF attorneys added their client, Mayo Pharmacy—an independent pharmacy in Bismarck, North Dakota, run by Catholic pharmacist Kevin Martian, PharmD—to a lawsuit the state of Texas filed challenging the Biden administration’s attempt to require pharmacies that receive federal funding to dispense abortion-inducing drugs.

“Unelected bureaucrats cannot force Americans to dispense abortion-inducing drugs against their conscience,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman, director of regulatory practice, who will be arguing before the court. “Federal law does not require pharmacies to stock or dispense abortion-causing drugs, and the HHS directive stands in direct contrast with constitutionally protected religious freedom and pro-life state laws. It’s unlawful for the executive branch to weaponize the administrative process to advance a radical pro-abortion agenda. We urge the court to hold the administration accountable for grossly overstepping its authority.”

In July 2022, HHS issued a mandate that requires pharmacies that serve patients with Medicare, Medicaid, or other federally funded coverage to stock and dispense elective abortion drugs. The Biden administration threatened legal action against any pharmacy that does not comply, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs, as is the case of Mayo Pharmacy and its owner, Martian. In July 2023, the district court denied HHS’s motion to dismiss the complaint, declaring that, “this administration has, before and since Dobbs, openly stated its intention to operate by fiat to find non-legislative workarounds to Supreme Court dictates. This Court will not play along with such a breach of constitutional constraints.” Friday’s hearing will consider the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment.

As a devout Catholic, Martian has operated his pharmacy in accordance with Catholic ethical and moral principles, including the teaching that human life begins at conception. As such, Mayo Pharmacy does not dispense drugs where they can end an unborn child’s life; however, the administration’s pharmacy mandate is attempting to force the pharmacy to either stop serving customers who receive federal assistance or violate its religious beliefs.

In a separate case ADF attorneys are litigating alongside the state of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit recently ruled that the Biden administration cannot illegally use federal law to force emergency room doctors to perform abortions. And in another lawsuit, ADF attorneys representing four medical associations and four doctors are suing the Food and Drug Administration for illegally removing safeguards for abortion drugs. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear that case in the spring.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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