Democratic governors are stockpiling abortion medications as the future of reproductive health is potentially fought out in federal court.
On Monday, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) announced the state has already acquired enough doses of mifepristone to last a year. Healey said the University of Massachusetts Amherst last week purchased 15,000 doses, which could arrive as soon as this week.
Healey said the state will also spend $1 million to reimburse health care providers to buy 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 let one extremist judge in Texas turn back the clock on this proven medication and restrict access to care in our state,” Healey said in a statement.
Her announcement follows a similar move last week in Washington, where Gov. Jay Inslee (D) purchased 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 at the end of March.
“Washington will not sit idly by and risk the devastating consequences of inaction,” Inslee said during a press conference last week, ahead of the ruling. “Washington is a pro-choice state, and no Texas judge will order us otherwise.”
Additionally, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday announced the state was stockpiling misoprostol, the second drug taken as part of the current two-drug medication 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 central to the preferred regimen for medication abortion,” but the state negotiated and purchased an emergency stockpile of misoprostol in anticipation of an adverse ruling.
Misoprostol alone is still effective and safe as an alternative medication abortion method, but it is not as effective as using mifepristone first.
There were two competing federal rulings on Friday over the continued availability of mifepristone, one of two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in medication abortions.
In Texas, a judge appointed by former President Trump suspended the FDA’s approval of mifepristone in a ruling that overruled decades of scientific evidence. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled the agency overstepped its authority in approving mifepristone, and gave the Biden administration until this coming Friday to appeal the ruling.
Just 20 minutes later, a federal judge in Spokane, Wash., ordered the FDA not to interfere with the status quo in at least 17 states where Democrats sued the Biden administration to lift restrictions on the drug.