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Oregon secures 3-year supply of abortion-inducing drug

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Oregon’s Gov. Tina Kotek said Thursday that she has directed the state to obtain supplies of the most commonly used abortion drug in the US, fearing that a court ruling could restrict access to it.

The Democratic governor said regardless of the court’s decision about mifepristone’s availability, patients in Oregon will have access to it for years.

“I will ensure that patients are able to access the medication they need and that providers are able to provide that medication without unnecessary, politically motivated interference and intimidation,” Kotek said in a statement.

The state is partnering with Oregon Health and Science University to obtain 22,500 doses of mifepristone, according to Kotek’s office. The state has joined Washington, California, New York and Massachusetts in purchasing bulk amounts of the abortion drug in recent weeks.

Maryland’s governor announced Friday that his state is doing the same, while New Jersey’s governor has said he is considering doing the same.

Mifepristone was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration two decades ago and has been used by more than 5 million women to end their pregnancies, the Justice Department said. Research shows that medication-induced abortions are safe and effective and that later complications, such as infection, are rare.

The lawsuit over mifepristone was filed last year in Texas by the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents opponents of the pill who say the FDA’s approval of mifepristone was flawed. The Supreme Court is currently considering whether to allow the ban on the drug to remain in effect until the legal challenge continues.

The conservative group filed the lawsuit last year after the US Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade took away the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Washington state has ordered the FDA to preserve access to mifepristone under existing rules in 17 Democratic-led states, including Oregon and the District of Columbia, which filed a separate lawsuit.

President Joe Biden’s administration has said the rules conflict and create an untenable position for the FDA.