Washington state has purchased a three-year supply of abortion medication.
During a news conference late Tuesday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee said he directed the Department of Corrections to order 30,000 doses of mifepristone through its pharmacy license last month.
The shipment of the drug, which has been used safely for more than 20 years, arrived on Mar. 31, according to Inslee.
Inslee was joined at the news conference by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who is helping lead a multi-state lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration over restrictions on the drug.
Lawmakers who have introduced legislation that would allow the state Department of Corrections to distribute or sell the medication to healthcare providers across the state also attended.
Inslee said the decision to purchase the drug came as a Texas judge is about to issue a ruling ordering the FDA to reverse its approval of mifepristone, which would effectively end the ability of healthcare providers or pharmacists across the nation to buy the drug.
Because the drug was purchased ahead of time, it will be available in Washington, regardless of the judge’s ruling.
“This Texas lawsuit is a clear and present danger to patients and providers all across the country. Washington will not sit by idly and risk the devastating consequences of inaction,” Inslee said. “We are not afraid to take action to protect our rights. Washington is a pro-choice state and no Texas judge will order us otherwise.”
Nearly 60% of abortions in Washington are medication abortions. There are about 800 medical abortions in the state every month, according to the state Department of Health. Washington anticipates there will be increased demand for abortion services with the overturning of Roe v. Wade.