Hochul vows to keep abortion services, medication available in NY

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 5:22 PM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - Amid two different rulings on abortion access, Governor Kathy Hochul is vowing to keep services available to New Yorkers.

“This isn’t just an attack on abortion, this is an attack on democracy,” the Democrat said, referring to a ruling by a federal judge out of Texas last week.

The ruling blocks the use of the abortion pill mifepristone, alleging the FDA didn’t adequately review its safety risks when it was approved in 2000.

Now, Hochul is making sure there’s no shortage of abortion medication and access in New York.

“I’m proud to announce that New York state will create a stockpile of misoprostol,” she said.

Misoprostol is another widely used abortion pill and New York will stockpile 150,000 pills.

Governor Hochul also announced an extra $20 million in funding for healthcare providers to support other methods of abortion.

The ruling out of Texas came on the same day as a ruling in Washington state, which directs U.S. authorities to not make any changes that would restrict access to the drug in at least 17 states where states sued to protect the availability of the drug. New York was not one of them.

Attorney General Letitia James says there were reasons for not joining the lawsuit but didn’t go into detail.

Both decisions have brought the pro-choice vs. anti-abortion debate to the forefront.

“This lawsuit is not about the FDA’s process to approve a safe and effective medication. It is simply a cruel attempt to compromise abortion access through our broken court system,” said Wendy Stark, president & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.

Meanwhile, local anti-abortion advocate and member of LifeRight of Watertown Beti Ann Honan argues there are health implications of the pill that aren’t often reported.

“It’s underreported in the data in terms of how dangerous it is, and of course it’s always dangerous to the baby. The intent is to kill the baby,” she said.

The Texas judge stayed his ruling to allow the federal government seven days to seek an appeal. It did Monday afternoon.