A Maryland board approved an emergency procurement of more than $1 million on Wednesday to pay for a stockpile of a widely used abortion pill due to uncertainty surrounding legal challenges against the drug’s use.
The Board of Public Works approved the funds to pay for 35,000 doses that would last several years, if necessary. The stockpile, acquired in April, includes 30,000 doses of mifepristone and 5,000 doses of misoprostol. The powerful spending panel is comprised of Gov. Wes Moore, Comptroller Brooke Lierman and Treasurer Dereck Davis.
Moore, a Democrat, noted before the vote that the drug has been available for decades and has fallen under “a very unique and distinct attack.”
The governor said he wanted to be clear “that reproductive freedom is non-negotiable: that my administration will continue to defend and protect women’s reproductive freedom and access to essential health care here in the state of Maryland. Full stop.”
A court case that began in Texas sought to roll back Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug. Lower courts had said that women seeking the drug should face more restrictions on getting it while the case continues, but the Supreme Court disagreed.
The controversy arose less than a year after the Supreme Court’s conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed more than a dozen states to effectively ban abortion.