Washington State Buys Thousands Of Abortion Pills In Case Of Ban
Washington State now has a multi-year supply of the abortion medication mifepristone.
Governor Jay Inslee directed the state Department of Corrections to purchase the medication under its existing pharmacy license, with the full shipment being delivered on March 31.
Inslee says the purchase was made in case a Trump appointed federal judge in Texas orders the drug taken off the market.
"Washington State will not allow a judge in Texas to deny the right of Washington women to this safe drug," said Inslee. "We will not sit idly by. We have to recognize these threats will continue. And our actions will continue to preserve the right of choice in Washington."
Bills to authorize the Department of Corrections to distribute or sell the medication to licensed health providers across the state are being introduced Wednesday in the legislature.
Identical measures in each chamber are sponsored by Democratic Senator Karen Keiser and Democratic Representative Jessica Bateman.
Both bills have been sent directly to budget committees in each house, which are the final step before bills go directly to the House or Senate floor.
A coalition of anti-abortion medical groups and doctors called the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine have sued the FDA, saying mifepristone was improperly approved two decades ago as part of a two-drug protocol that's used to end pregnancies in the first trimester.
The group is asking federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, Texas to remove mifepristone from the U.S. market or limit its availability. The FDA has asked the judge to deny that motion, saying the lawsuit isn't likely to succeed.
Inslee said during a Tuesday news conference that the effort in Washington State is meant to spotlight anti-abortion efforts across the country.
"We're urging people across the country to understand we are going to be under attack from these anti-choice states," Inslee said. "And so, one of the things we're doing is blowing the bugle. All of us are going to have to be allied in this effort of eternal vigilance,"
Inslee said Tuesday the state bought about 30,000 doses of mifepristone through the Department of Corrections. He also said the University of Washington purchased an additional 10,000 doses at his request.
He was joined in the news conference by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and five Democratic state lawmakers. Ferguson is leading a multistate federal lawsuit which also targets the FDA, in this case for singling out mifepristone for excessively burdensome regulation.