BOSTON (WPRI) — Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey joined other officials Monday afternoon to announce plans to protect access to abortion medication.
The 1 p.m. announcement came after a federal court ruling suspended the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, which has been used for decades.
“Medication abortion is safe, effective and legal. Mifepristone has been used safely for more than 20 years and is the gold standard,” Healey said. “This is yet another attempt by extremists to ban abortion nationwide. But we are prepared to take immediate action to protect access to this important medication.”
Healy ordered the University of Massachusetts and health care providers to stockpile the drug. So far, UMass Amherst has purchased around 15,000 doses of mifepristone, according to Healey’s office. The doses are enough for a year’s worth of access.
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The legality of mifepristone is being questioned after a Texas judge paused federal approval for mifepristone while a Washington judge ruled access to the drug should be protected. The U.S. Department of Justice appealed the Texas judge’s ruling.
Mifepristone is the most commonly used method of abortion in the U.S.
Healey also signed an executive order to protect providers and patients from being liable for receiving or providing abortion care.
Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee echoed Healey’s sentiments, saying the state will collaborate with others governors to support women’s right to choose.
President Joe Biden previously said his administration would fight the Texas ruling.
“Patients in Massachusetts will continue to have access to mifepristone,” Healey said. “We stand for civil rights and freedom, and we will always protect access to reproductive health care.”
Planned Parenthood also plans to have a news conference about the abortion medication Monday.