Democratic governors are in a shopping frenzy, buying up supplies of abortion medication amid legal uncertainty about the ongoing availability of the drugs.
Last week, in the first ever mass purchase of abortion pills, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the state’s correctional system purchased 30,000 doses of mifepristone and the University of Washington had secured an additional 10,000.
Democrats in the state legislature have pledged to pass a bill authorizing the state to distribute those doses.
Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey followed suit on Monday, announcing that she directed the University of Massachusetts Amherst to buy 15,000 doses of mifepristone “to ensure sufficient coverage in the state for more than a year.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the largest purchase yet, hoarding 250,000 misoprostol pills and negotiating the purchase of up to 2 million doses.
Misoprostol is the less commonly discussed part in the two-part medication abortion process. It’s typically taken 24-48 hours after mifepristone and works by causing intense contractions that cause the uterus to expel its contents and pass a pregnancy.
Misoprostol can work as a standalone pill to terminate pregnancies.
Dueling Rulings Cause Blue State Panic
Just one hour after a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary ruling invalidating the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the widely-used abortion pill mifepristone, a federal judge in Washington state issued a ruling in a separate case that ordered the FDA to keep the pill available in the 18 states involved in the suit.
For now, the drug remains available as the Texas judge, Trump-appointee Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, stayed his order for one week to allow the FDA time to appeal.
Before the second ruling, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra alarmingly said the Biden administration may just ignore the decision altogether.
Due to the broad implications federally and commercially, some legal analysts expect the Supreme Court justices to more carefully consider an order that would undercut the FDA’s authority.