Democratic governors are stockpiling abortion drugs as the future of reproductive health is potentially disputed in federal court.
On Monday, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey (D) announced that the state has already procured a year’s supply of mifepristone. Healey said the University of Massachusetts Amherst purchased 15,000 doses last week, which could arrive as soon as this week.
Healey said the state will also spend $1 million to reimburse health care providers for the purchase of the drug.
“Mifepristone has been used safely for more than 20 years and is the gold standard. Here in Massachusetts, we are not going to allow an extremist judge in Texas to turn back the clock on this proven drug and restrict access to care in our state,” Healey said in a statement.
His announcement follows a similar move last week in Washington, where Gov. Jay Inslee (D) bought a three-year supply of the drug.
Inslee said he ordered the state Department of Corrections to purchase 30,000 doses of mifepristone, which arrived in late March.
“Washington will not stand idly by and risk the devastating consequences of inaction,” Inslee said during a news conference last week, before the ruling. “Washington is a pro-choice state, and no judge in Texas will order us otherwise.”
In addition, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Monday that the state was stockpiling misoprostol, the second drug being taken as part of the current two-drug medical abortion regimen. Newsom said California has secured an emergency stockpile of up to 2 million pills.
More than 250,000 pills have already arrived in California, and the state has negotiated the ability to purchase up to 2 million misoprostol pills as needed, according to a statement.
In a statement, Newsom said California still believes mifepristone “is critical to the preferred regimen for medical abortion,” but the state negotiated and purchased an emergency stock of misoprostol in anticipation of an adverse ruling.
Misoprostol alone remains effective and safe as an alternative method of medical abortion, but it is not as effective as using mifepristone first.
There were two competing federal rulings Friday over the continued availability of mifepristone, one of two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in medical abortions.
In Texas, a judge appointed by former President Trump has suspended the FDA’s approval of mifepristone in a ruling that overturned decades of scientific evidence. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled that the agency exceeded its authority in approving mifepristone and gave the Biden administration until next Friday to appeal the ruling.
Just 20 minutes later, a federal judge in Spokane, Washington, ordered the FDA not to interfere with the status quo in at least 17 states where Democrats have sued the Biden administration to lift restrictions on the drug.