Washington D.C., Jun 9, 2023 / 14:40 pm (CNA).
The Maryland Board of Public Works approved nearly $1.3 million in emergency spending to pay for a stockpile of two abortion drugs in response to a lawsuit that could take one of the drugs off the market.
Most of the spending will support two contracts to purchase 30,000 doses of mifepristone, which can kill an unborn child up to 10 weeks’ gestation.
Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine challenged the Food and Drug Administration’s 2000 approval of the drug and subsequent deregulation in court, claiming that the agency failed to follow proper protocol and ignored potential health risks.
A Texas judge suspended the FDA’s approval of the drug, but the agency appealed the ruling. The Supreme Court ruled that the drug will remain on the market, pending the outcome of the appeal.
Just over $10,000 of Maryland’s emergency funding plan will support one contract to purchase 5,000 doses of misoprostol, which is commonly taken with mifepristone to induce the chemical abortion. This drug is not a subject of the lawsuit.
“Reproductive freedom is nonnegotiable,” Democratic Gov. Wes Moore, who serves on the three-member board, said during the meeting. “My administration will continue to defend and protect women’s reproductive freedom and access to essential health care here in the state of Maryland.”
The Maryland Department of Health initially entered into all three contracts in mid-April after the Texas judge suspended the FDA’s approval of mifepristone. In late April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the drug can stay on the market while the FDA appeals that ruling.
The department filed its report and its request for the funding approval late “due to insufficient procurement staff,” according to an explanation published in the meeting’s agenda.
Moore said the department needed to move quickly to secure mifepristone because the Texas ruling created an “unnecessary and misguided crisis.” He said the ruling “jeopardized access to this critical drug for women and families here and across the nation” despite being available for decades.
Laura Bogley, the executive director of Maryland Right to Life, told CNA that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortion drugs.
“By stockpiling this dangerous drug and forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortion drug manufacturers, Gov. Moore is reducing Maryland to a mere drug pusher for the abortion industry,” Bogley said. “Tragically, we will see many more injuries and deaths in Maryland due to the politicization of the FDA and the statehouse.”
At this time, mifepristone is still available when prescribed and a person can receive the drug in person or through the mail. A woman who plans to use the drug does not need to see a doctor in person before receiving it.
Several Catholic and pro-life organizations have voiced their support for the lawsuit, which could take the drug completely off the market.
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