Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek said Thursday she has ordered the state to obtain a supply of the most widely used abortion drug in the US amid fears a court ruling could restrict access to it.
The Democratic governor said that regardless of the court’s decision on the availability of mifepristone, Oregon patients will have access to it for years.
“I will ensure that patients can access the medicines they need and that providers can provide those medicines without unnecessary and politically motivated interference and intimidation,” Kotek said in a statement.
According to Kotek’s office, the state is partnering with Oregon Health and Science University to source 22,500 doses of mifepristone. The state joins Washington, California, New York and Massachusetts in purchasing large quantities of abortion drugs in recent weeks.
The governor of Maryland announced Friday that his state was doing the same, while the governor of New Jersey said he is considering doing so.
Mifepristone was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration more than two decades ago and has been used by more than 5 million women to end their pregnancies, the Justice Department said. Research shows that medication-induced abortions are safe and effective, and that subsequent complications, such as infections, are rare.
The mifepristone lawsuit was filed in Texas last year by the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents opponents of the pill, who say the FDA’s approval of mifepristone was flawed. The Supreme Court is currently considering whether to allow the drug restrictions to take effect while the legal challenge continues.
The conservative group filed the lawsuit after last year’s US Supreme Court decision that struck down Roe v. Wade removed the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.
Meanwhile, a federal judge in Washington state ordered the FDA to preserve access to mifepristone under current rules in 17 Democratic-led states, including Oregon and the District of Columbia, which filed a separate lawsuit.
President Joe Biden’s administration has said the rulings conflict and create an untenable situation for the FDA.