ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York joined other Democratic-led states Tuesday in stockpiling abortion pills in response to a Texas court ruling that could limit access to the commonly used drug.
At the governor’s direction, the state Department of Health will begin purchasing 150,000 doses of misoprostol, one of two commonly used abortion-inducing drugs, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced.
“This isn’t just an attack on abortion, this is an attack on democracy,” the Democratic governor said, adding that she wouldn’t let “one extremist judge turn back the clock” on reproductive care.
New Yorkers will continue to have access to medication abortion “no matter what,” she said. If the drug is taken off the market, Hochul said the state will provide $20 million to providers in order to bolster access to other methods of care.
Hochul is the latest Democratic governor to announce the stockpiling of abortion medication after two federal judges issued contradicting rulings Friday that could impact the availability of mifepristone, a drug that, if used in combination with misoprostol, is considered the most effective drug regimen to end a pregnancy.
New York Attorney General Letitia James and a coalition of attorneys general challenged the decision issued by the district court judge in Texas, which ordered a hold on federal approval of mifepristone, by filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Monday. In it, James and others urged the court to stay halt the ruling, which if allowed, they argued, would “drastically reduce access to safe abortion care,” according to a statement from James’ office.
The U.S. Department of Justice appealed the ruling Monday.
Massachusetts, California and Washington state are among the other states that have stockpiled the drugs.
Maysoon Khan is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Maysoon Khan on Twitter.