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Special Event

President Clinton Comments on FDA Decision to Approve Abortion Pill

Aired September 28, 2000 - 3:11 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BOBBIE BATTISTA, CNN ANCHOR: I have to toss to the president who is reportedly making a comment on this decision today.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, first of all, this administration treated that issue as purely one of science and medicine. And the decision to be made under our law is whether the drug should be approved by the FDA on grounds of safety. And I think that they bent over backwards to do a lot of serious inquiries, and Secretary Shalala can explain it in greater detail than me, but there's a long history here about why it took so long, but the FDA is basically doing its job. It's now done its job, and I regret that some members of the other party apparently have already tried to politicize it.

I know that Dr. Healy, who was the NIH commissioner under President Bush, said that she agreed with the decision of the FDA, and I think it ought to be treated as the scientific and medical decision it was, and we should respect the fact that it was a non-political inquiry, and that they took so long to try to make sure they were making a good decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

QUESTION: President Clinton, anything to say pertaining the debate over abortion, and do you think...

BATTISTA: The president commenting today on a question about the FDA's decision to approve the abortion pill, which is the topic of our show today.

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