Hundreds of pharmaceutical and biotech company executives signed an open letter Monday condemning a federal judge in Texas for halting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of abortion drug mifepristone, and called for the decision to be reversed.
Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk signed an injunction Friday directing the FDA to halt the approval while a lawsuit challenging its safety and approval works its way through court.
Kacsmaryk stayed the FDA's approval of the abortion drug, but gave the federal government seven days to "seek emergency relief from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit."
In the letter signed by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and more than 300 other biotech leaders, the executives blasted Kacsmaryk for overturning the FDA's 23-year old approval of mifepristone, saying the drug used for abortions and miscarriage care "has been proven by decades of data to be safer than Tylenol, nearly all antibiotics and insulin."
They said Kacsmaryk's move amounted to "judicial activism," and criticized him for having "no scientific training."
The signatories said the judge's decision sets a precedent for undermining the FDA's authority, brings regulatory uncertainty, disincentivizes investment in new treatments and puts the entire industry at risk.
Mifepristone is used in medical abortions, which account for more than half of all abortions in America.
While Kacsmaryk halted the FDA's approval of the drug, the plaintiffs, several conservative groups, wanted the approvals of chemical abortion drugs suspended and removed from the list of approved drugs.
Democrats are furious over the ruling, and at least two lawmakers — including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. — have urged President Biden against enforcing the injunction as the lawsuit proceeds in court.
FOX News' Adam Sabes and Reuters contributed to this report.