Amid Looming Ban, New York and California Are Stockpiling Alternative Abortion Pill, Misoprostol

Abortion Pills (Photo: Shoshana Gordon)

New York and California are amassing substantial reserves of an alternative abortion medication in anticipation of a federal judge’s potential suspension of the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, the primary abortion drug.

On Tuesday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul directed the state health department to immediately procure 150,000 doses of misoprostol, securing a five-year supply of the pill.

This move follows California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that California has secured 2 million pills of misoprostol.

Medication abortions are the predominant method for terminating pregnancies in the U.S., typically involving a two-drug regimen where mifepristone is taken first, followed by misoprostol.

Misoprostol is also approved by the FDA for treating gastric ulcers, ensuring its availability if Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s order suspending mifepristone takes effect this Saturday at 12 a.m. Central Time.

“One judge in Amarillo, Texas thinks he knows better than thousands of doctors and scientists and experts.

And not to mention the countless women who’ve used this medication safely for decades,”

Misoprostol Abortion Pill (Photo: George Frey)

Hochul stated during a press conference with Planned Parenthood’s New York chapter on Tuesday.

“This isn’t just an attack on abortion, it’s an attack on democracy. Courts have never before revoked a science-backed decision made by the FDA,” she emphasized.

Governor Hochul also announced efforts to mandate private insurers in New York to cover misoprostol for off-label use in abortions, collaborating with the state legislature on this initiative.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department and Danco Laboratories, the distributor of mifepristone, have petitioned the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to block Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling by noon Thursday.

Although the World Health Organization and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorse misoprostol as a standalone abortion medication when the two-drug regimen isn’t available, medical experts caution that its efficacy decreases when used alone.

The FDA has approved the two-drug abortion regimen up to the 10th week of pregnancy: mifepristone halts pregnancy progression by blocking progesterone, while misoprostol induces uterine contractions.

According to the FDA’s guidelines, patients ingest 200 milligrams of mifepristone orally on day one, followed by 800 micrograms of misoprostol administered in the cheek pouch 24 to 48 hours later.

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