As the U.S. Supreme Court delays issuing a decision on a lower-court ruling that would limit access to medication abortion, Governor Kotek today announced that the state of Oregon has partnered with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) to secure a three-year supply of Mifepristone––a safe and effective medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over 20 years ago for use in miscarriage management and to end a pregnancy.
“By challenging the FDA’s authority over Mifepristone, the lower court decisions set an alarming precedent of putting politics above established science, medical evidence, and a patient’s health, life, and well-being–with potential implications beyond this one medication,” Governor Tina Kotek said. “This meritless lawsuit is part of a larger campaign to ban abortion in every state, including those with legal protections for abortion access. We cannot afford to stand by and watch our fundamental right to reproductive health care be stripped away.”
In response to the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration lawsuit in Texas, part of the escalating efforts to ban abortion nationwide, Governor Kotek directed the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to work with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to explore all available avenues to safeguard access to reproductive health care in Oregon.
The Governor’s office and OHA reached out to Oregon providers to better understand the challenges and impacts on the provision of reproductive health care in the current environment and what additional state support might be necessary. The Governor then directed the state to partner with OHSU to secure 22,500 dosages of Mifepristone to ensure that reproductive health providers across the state can maintain access and continue to provide patients with safe and effective miscarriage management and abortion care.
In a separate mifepristone-related lawsuit co-led by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, a federal judge in Washington state issued a decision contradicting the Texas lawsuit and directing the FDA not to make any changes to the availability of the drug within Oregon and the 16 other states and the District of Columbia who joined the litigation as that Washington case makes its way through the courts.
The Governor is also directing the state’s licensing boards to issue guidance to Oregon providers clarifying that Oregon supports providers in continuing to provide reproductive health care, consistent with the established standards of care, including prescribing, dispensing and using mifepristone regardless of the upcoming Supreme Court decision in the Texas lawsuit.
As states continue to pass laws targeting abortion patients, providers, and people assisting patients, Governor Kotek will refuse non-fugitive extradition of individuals for criminal prosecution for receiving legal reproductive healthcare services in Oregon, supporting patients in accessing reproductive healthcare services in Oregon, or providing legal reproductive healthcare services in Oregon.
“Here in Oregon, I will make sure that patients are able to access the medication they need and providers are able to provide that medication without unnecessary, politically-motivated interference and intimidation,” Governor Tina Kotek said. “To our providers, to the patients who live in Oregon or have been forced to come to our state for care, and to those who are helping people access the care they need, know that I have your back.”
Source: Oregon Governor's Office