N.Y. (WETM) — Governor Kathy Hochul announced plans to stockpile the medication Misoprostol to protect access to abortion in New York State.
The state will stockpile 150,000 doses of Misoprostol. Based on current anticipated needs, this stockpile is expected to last for five years. Starting on the morning of April 11, Hochul instructed the New York State Department of Health to begin purchasing Misoprostol for the stockpile.
“New York will always be a safe harbor for abortion care, and I am taking action to protect abortion access in our State and continue to lead the nation in defending the right to reproductive autonomy,” said Hochul.
Hochul also announced that she is working with the State Legislature on new legislation that would require insurance companies to cover Misoprostol when it’s prescribed for abortion or other off-label uses. The new legislation would also prevent providers from losing medical malpractice insurance or having increased malpractice insurance rates for prescribing the medication off-label.
According to the National Library of Medicine, Misoprostol is marketed for preventing and treating gastroduodenal damage (like ulcers) but is frequently used in obstetrics and gynecology. In this field, the medication is used for abortion, managing miscarriages, inducing labor, treating postpartum hemorrhaging, and more.
New York’s stockpiling of this drug is in response to a Texas judge halting the FDA’s approval of another abortion pill called Mifepristone. Hochul announced that if Mifepristone is taken off the market, New York will commit $20 million to support access to other methods of abortion care.