The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services announced Friday that it would continue to provide medication abortions regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue.
The department has a sufficient supply of mifepristone, officials stated in a news release.
“This access is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities,” the department said. “Abortion is legal in California. The Department of Health Services remains committed to ensuring that all residents, and in this case pregnant people, have access to compassionate care.”
The nation’s highest county is expected to decide on whether the public should continue to have access to mifepristone or if it will side with a Texas federal judge and restrict access.
A decision is expected by Friday night.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, ruled on April 7 that FDA approval for mifepristone should be halted. The abortion pill has had FDA approval since 2000.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom previously announced that the state had secured an emergency stockpile of up to 2 million misoprostol pills, another widely-used abortion medication.
“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.”
While mifepristone is part of a two-drug regime, misoprostol can be safely used independently, Newsom’s office said. Doctors, however, prefer that the two drugs be used together, according to guidance from the World Health Organization.
Misoprostol alone “is less effective than the combined regimen,” according to the WHO handbook.
The drug stockpile was purchased through CalRx, the state’s affordable prescription drug program. Misoprostol will be available to California pharmacies through the abortion.ca.gov website.
Newsom has avidly supported keeping abortion legal in the Golden State.
In September 2022, Newsom signed a budget and legislative package into law that invested more than $200 million in new funds to protect and increase access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion care, a news release said.
For more information regarding abortion care, family planning care, or related services, Angelenos can visit the Safe Haven Abortion Project website.