May 3, 2023

Vermont and Washington Pass Bills to Allow Mifepristone if FDA Approval Ends

Vermont and Washington state both passed bills that would legalize the distribution of mifepristone in those states, regardless of whether the drug is approved by the FDA.

On April 27, Vermont's House and Senate passed House Bill 89. The bill would legalize any abortion drugs approved by the FDA before Jan 1, 2023 (regardless of their current approval status), and characterize them as "reproductive health care services."

On the same day, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5768. The Washington law authorizes the Department of Corrections (DOC) to acquire and dispense mifepristone. The DOC would be empowered to sell these pills to abortion businesses.

The bills are a response to the ongoing legal challenge against the FDA's approval of the abortion pill. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which originates from a 20-year-old petition that the FDA did not respond to in the 180 days required. It alleges that the approval process didn't follow legal requirements and was based on faulty science.