Maryland now has a stockpile of 35,000 doses of drugs used to induce abortions, a response to court rulings that put availability of the drugs in jeopardy.

The state’s top spending board on Wednesday approved the emergency purchase of nearly $1.3 million worth of mifepristone and misoprostol. The drugs were delivered to the state in April.

The purchase was a needed response to a “misguided” crisis, said Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat.

“We are united in ensuring the state of Maryland remains a safe haven for abortion access and quality reproductive health care,” Moore said as the Board of Public Works prepared to vote on the purchase.

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Comptroller Brooke Lierman, another member of the board, said some voters asked her when she was running for office why abortion rights are a relevant issue for the comptroller.

“We have that here today. These decisions matter,” said Lierman, a Democrat.

The third member of the board, Treasurer Dereck Davis, a Democrat, was absent from the meeting. He was represented by Chief Deputy Treasurer Jonathan D. Martin, who asked health officials whether the medications might expire if not used.

Bryan I. Mroz, deputy state health secretary, said the state is working with the medication providers to make sure that supply is rotated so the state doesn’t get stuck with expired drugs.

The state’s emergency purchase includes 30,000 doses of mifepristone and 5,000 doses of misoprostol.

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The two drugs are used in combination for medication abortions, which account for more than half of all abortions in the United States.

Abortion opponents have challenged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, leading to a confusing series of federal court rulings this spring. The drugs currently are widely available as the court cases play out.

This article has been updated to correct the amount of money spent by the state on the purchase of abortion medication.

pamela.wood@thebaltimorebanner.com

Pamela Wood covers Maryland politics and government. She previously reported for The Baltimore Sun, The Capital and other Maryland newspapers. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, she lives in northern Anne Arundel County. 

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