Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: ‘Under Our State Law, We Still Have the Right to Distribute’ Abortion Drug Despite Texas Judge’s Ruling

(CNSNews.com) – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday that despite a Texas judge’s ruling ordering the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to suspend approval of the abortion drug mifepristone, he has ordered a three-year supply of the drug and his state has the right to distribute it under state law.

When asked whether he sees this as a fix and whether he see this as the direction that “access to reproductive care” is going, the governor said, “Well, listen. This is a freedom. There’s a freedom of choice for women in America. It’s been assaulted by the Republican Party, and we have to be vigilant. 

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and so that’s why we went ahead and stockpiled mifepristone, like you said three or four years supply, and we did so because we believe that regardless of what happens in Texas, even if this Texas judge misguided decision was affirmed by the Supreme Court, under our state law, we still have the right to distribute this through our state agency to health clinics and to women in the state of Washington,” he told “CNN News Central.”

“So that’s why we took this action so that this right would be guaranteed, and as you indicated, this has been a safe, effective method to exercise the right of choice now for two decades. We’re not going to give up on this issue,” Inslee said.

When asked whether he’s worried that he’ll be setting a precedent of undermining the FDA’s authority with this case, the governor said, “No, listen. I’m confident we’re going to come out of this with a decision based on science, or at least we should, and the science of this is quite clear. Women have been using this by the tens of thousands now for 20 years without significant adverse consequences. 


“It has less side effects than some very, very other typical medications, and we have such a strong scientific background. We are– just would be totally outraged if the courts did not recognize that,” Inslee said.

“Now the court as you know, a district court judge in Washington state issued an exact opposite ruling, which required the FDA in the 18 states subject to this lawsuit, to require the FDA to continue the approval process, but as I indicated in our state under our state law, regardless of what the Supreme Court does, we intend to continue to distribute this product under state law,” he said. 

“We believe we’re confident in that and our ability to do it. That is why we went ahead and acquired the product, so we would have it under state law to distribute to women in the state of Washington,” the governor added.

Inslee said he doesn’t think the White House should tell the FDA to ignore the Texas ruling if it takes effect and stays in effect.

“No, I believe democracy still is on a foundation. We’ve gotta follow judicial decisions as appropriate, but we’ve also got to be extremely creative, vigilant and aggressive in these actions and that’s why we acted in Washington ahead of the curve when we saw this coming at us, and there are going to be many, many instances where we have to be creative in this hydra headed effort of the Republican Party to take away this important right for women,” he said.

“This is not the only challenge. We have a challenge in Idaho, our neighboring state, which is trying to interfere with a constitutional right to travel across state lines. That is going to become a front in this effort as well, and so what I would say is, we’ve gotta follow democracy but also be creative and aggressive,” Inslee said.

“We have been in Washington state. I’m glad other states are joining us. Women need this right to be protected,” the governor said.


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