(CTN News) – In preparation for the possible implementation of a federal judge’s ruling suspending FDA approval of the main medicine, mifepristone, later this week, New York and California have stockpiled large quantities of an alternate abortion pill.
On Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York issued an executive order mandating the immediate procurement of 150,000 doses of misoprostol, enough for the state to last five years.
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Hochul’s statement follows a day after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state had acquired 2 million misoprostol tablets.
In the United States, medical abortions are far and away the norm. Patients often employ a two-drug regimen consisting of mifepristone and misoprostol. In some regions of the world, the second tablet is taken on its own to induce an abortion.
If U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling suspending mifepristone goes into effect at midnight central time on Saturday, the FDA-approved gastric ulcer treatment misoprostol will still be available.
One Amarillo, Texas, judge considers himself more knowledgeable than tens of thousands of doctors, scientists, and other specialists.
Hochul announced this at a press conference with New York’s Planned Parenthood on Tuesday. “Not to mention the countless women who have used this medication safely for decades,” she added.
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This isn’t a defense of abortion rights; it’s a defense of democracy. The governor claimed that courts have never overturned an FDA decision supported by scientific evidence.
Hochul has stated that she is working with the New York State Legislature to mandate that private insurers cover misoprostol for off-label uses, such as abortions.
By Thursday at noon, the Department of Justice and Danco Laboratories—the manufacturer and distributor of mifepristone—will have petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to halt Kacsmaryk’s order.
When the two-drug regimen is unavailable, misoprostol is recommended as a stand-alone abortion treatment by the World Health Organization and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
However, obstetricians and gynecologists agree that misoprostol is less effective when administered alone. The two-drug abortion regimen is legal until the 10th week of pregnancy in the United States.
By inhibiting the production of the hormone progesterone, mifepristone prevents the pregnancy from progressing any further. The contractions caused by misoprostol are used to remove the uterus.
Patients are instructed to take 200mg of mifepristone orally on day one, followed by 800mg of misoprostol in the cheek pouch between 24 and 48 hours later, as stated on the FDA-approved label.