In response to Texas ruling
As the Biden Administration appeals a decision by an extremist Texas judge seeking to block access to Mifepristone, a commonly used abortion pill in a two-drug regimen, Gov. Gavin Newsom this week announced that California has secured a stockpile of Misoprostol, another abortion medication that can be taken on its own to induce a safe and effective abortion.
While California still believes Mifepristone is central to the preferred regimen for medication abortion, the State negotiated and purchased an emergency stockpile of Misoprostol in anticipation of the April 7 ruling by far-right federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk to ensure that California remains a safe haven for safe, affordable, and accessible reproductive care. More than 250,000 pills have already arrived in California, and the State has negotiated the ability to purchase up to 2 million Misoprostol pills as needed through CalRx. To support other states in securing Misoprostol at a low cost, California has shared the negotiated terms of the purchase agreement with all states in the Reproductive Freedom Alliance.
“In response to this extremist ban on a medication abortion drug, our state has secured a stockpile of an alternative medication abortion drug to ensure that Californians continue to have access to safe reproductive health treatments,” Newsom said. “We will not cave to extremists who are trying to outlaw these critical abortion services. Medication abortion remains legal in California.”
The ruling on April 7 in Texas seeks to halt the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Mifepristone in an attempt to remove the drug from pharmacy shelves across the country, threatening to severely curb access to safe abortion care.
For decades, medication abortion has been a reliable, affordable, and accessible way for people to get abortion care. Mifepristone, which the FDA first approved in 2000, is taken in combination with Misoprostol. This regimen has been used in more than half of abortions nationwide and is widely considered the standard of care.
The California medical response includes the following measures:
• Purchasing Misoprostol, through CalRx, to ensure California providers can continue to provide medication abortions without disruption. Pharmacies facing shortages can go to Abortion.CA.GOV to find out how to access the stockpile.
• Informing Medi-Cal providers about continued reimbursement for medication abortion using a Misoprostol-only treatment regimen.
• Reminding health plans of California statute that requires the coverage of all other types of abortion and abortion-related services with no cost-sharing or utilization management, including misoprostol.
• Updating Abortion.CA.GOV, California’s abortion resource website, to address questions regarding the Texas court decision and its potential impact on their access to medication abortion.
• Proactively working with other states through the Reproductive Freedom Alliance to protect access in advance of the Texas ruling.