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Moore-Miller Administration Announces Plan in Partnership with University of Maryland Medical System to Ensure Access to Mifepristone in Maryland

April 16th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

The Moore-Miller Administration and Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today announced a partnership for the purchase of a substantial amount of mifepristone to protect essential health care access for women. 

“As a member of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, Maryland will not stand for this assault on women’s health care” said Gov. Wes Moore. “This purchase is another example of our Administration’s commitment to ensure Maryland remains a safe haven for abortion access and quality reproductive health care.”

“Yet again, women’s health care and reproductive rights have come under attack,” said Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller. “And once again, Maryland has stepped up to continue providing safe and effective reproductive health care.”

Since the FDA approved the drug more than two decades ago, mifepristone has been used safely in more than 60 countries, providing critical care for women. The medication is used for a variety of reproductive health care needs.

“Losing access to this medication will lead to poor health outcomes for women,” said MDH Secretary Laura Herrera Scott. “The Maryland Department of Health is working closely with the Moore-Miller administration and is proud to protect the reproductive rights of Marylanders, and we will continue to do so.”

Mifepristone is also used for miscarriage management and other medical uses. 

The Moore-Miller Administration is grateful for the partnership with the University of Maryland Medical System in this purchase. 

The partnership for the purchase of mifepristone is another effort by the Moore-Miller administration to protect reproductive rights in Maryland, a top priority for the administration. Gov. Moore also released $3.5 million in previously withheld funding for the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program, established in 2022 by the Abortion Care Access Act

That act helps ensure access to high-quality, safe abortion care in Maryland by providing a grant for clinical training of abortion care providers and their clinical care teams​. The health department has put forth a request for applications seeking a vendor to provide that training.

The Moore-Miller Administration also supported four bills passed by the General Assembly that will further protect abortion access, privacy, and out-of-state patients—including a bill to create a constitutional amendment that will enshrine reproductive rights in the Maryland Constitution. 

The Moore-Miller Administration is grateful for the partnership of state and federal leaders in protecting access to reproductive health care in Maryland. Further statements of support for today’s announcement are below. 

“Reproductive health care should not be restricted by the courts or governments. In the face of outrageous court decisions that will have sweeping negative consequences nationwide, I applaud Gov. Moore for taking action that will protect bodily autonomy and access to safe and effective medication that has been in wide use for decades,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “I joined an amicus brief in support of the FDA, and will continue to fight to protect the rights of Marylanders. This erosion of rights and access to safe and proven medical care cannot continue unabated.”

“The extreme, right-wing decision to restrict women’s health care by taking the unprecedented step of blocking access to an FDA-approved medication puts Americans at serious risk. I appreciate Governor Moore taking this action to protect and preserve Marylanders’ reproductive rights, as we continue to fight this disastrous ruling and towards codifying Roe nationally once and for all,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.

"I commend the Moore-Miller Administration’s decision to stockpile abortion medication amid Republicans' persistent efforts to restrict a woman's ability to make her own health care decisions. For decades, millions of women have used this medication safely and effectively to protect their reproductive health. While Democrats in Congress remain hard at work to reestablish the precedent set forth by Roe v. Wade and enshrine it in federal statute, this stockpile will ensure that Maryland remains a bastion for quality reproductive health care,” said Congressman Steny Hoyer.

“Marylanders resoundingly support reproductive freedom and I applaud Governor Moore for taking these steps to protect these rights while the issue remains in legal limbo,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger. “Medical decisions should not be made by judges, but by medical experts, who have vouched for the safety and efficacy of abortion medication and are backed by decades of scientific research. This action will ensure that potentially life-saving medication will continue to be available to Maryland women.”

“Mifepristone is safe and effective and will remain accessible in Maryland. I applaud the Moore-Miller Administration for ensuring recent decisions will not impact abortion access in Maryland,” said Congressman John Sarbanes. “These extremist judges attacking medication abortion cannot overrule the rights of Marylanders to make their own decisions about their health and futures.”

“While theocratic, anti-choice judges continue to attack women’s rights, the Moore administration and the Maryland congressional delegation are striving to guarantee access to safe reproductive health care for all in our state,” said Congressman Jaime Raskin. “I applaud Governor Moore’s efforts to stockpile abortion medication in Maryland, and I will continue to fight to ensure that abortion is safe, accessible, and legal.” 

“History shows that limiting abortion access doesn’t prevent abortion from happening, it only prevents safe abortion. Today, it is incredibly concerning that states must start stockpiling abortion medications to protect the millions of people who depend on these long-approved drugs – but we will always do everything in our power to safeguard Americans’ access to safe abortion care,” said Congressman David Trone. “There’s no doubt we’ve taken monumental steps backward in the fight for gender equality and health care access since the Dobbs ruling last year, but we will continue fighting to protect our own health care decisions, and we will continue marching forward to enshrine access to abortion services into federal law.”

“Anti-choice extremists continue their attacks on women and families, so Maryland must be prepared for the long haul in this fight. I support the actions of Governor Moore and Lieutenant Governor Miller because we are on the right side of history,” said Congressman Kweisi Mfume.

“I commend Governor Wes Moore for protecting the right to choose by ensuring reproductive healthcare options are available for women across the state of Maryland. Stockpiling this medicine will be a measure of security that women across Maryland will always have the right to make decisions on their bodies and their futures,” said Congressman Glenn Ivey.

“I commend Governor Moore for taking quick action to secure an adequate supply of mifepristone for Marylanders.  And I will continue to do everything possible on the legal front to preserve that access,” said Attorney General Anthony G. Brown. “In fact, we’re heading to the Supreme Court to ensure mifepristone – proven safe and effective for over 20 years – is available across the country. Anything less will have devastating consequences, especially to people living in overburdened and underserved communities.”

"I am so proud to have a Governor who stands up for reproductive rights, and applaud him and his administration for taking quick action to preserve access to mifepristone," said State Senator Ariana Kelly. 

"We are thankful for the Governor's proactive steps to ensure Marylanders continue to have access to medication abortions–regardless how activist courts attempt to restrict that access by banning Mifepristone, " said Planned Parenthood Maryland CEO Karen Nelson. This year the General Assembly, with vocal support from Governor Moore, passed legislation that will protect abortion patients, providers and support networks.  Legislators even passed a measure which allows voters to codify the right to an abortion in the State Constitution. However, legal protections mean nothing if people do not have access. This most recent action is wholly in line with Governor Moore's commitment to upholding an individual's right to make decisions about their healthcare and we are excited to have his courageous leadership in Maryland."