By Corinne Murdock |
Attorney General Kris Mayes revealed over the weekend that her office has been encouraging pharmacies to give out abortion pills.
Mayes issued the remarks in an interview with MSNBC last Saturday discussing a multistate lawsuit against the FDA for imposing allegedly burdensome regulation on mifepristone, a drug used for abortions. Joining Mayes on the live interview were Attorneys General Kathy Jennings (Delaware) and Ellen Rosenblum (Oregon).
“We are one of those states who have actually encouraged Walgreens, and CVS, and other pharmacies to continue to offer the medication despite that pressure by Republican AGs,” said Mayes.
The attorney general criticized GOP attorneys general in other states, specifically Texas, for opposing abortion.
“You see that effort by some of those GOP attorneys general to continue to try to limit the access of women to abortion in every possible way they can find,” said Mayes. “Despite the fact that Roe was overturned, and it was sent back to the states, they’re still making these efforts in states to limit a woman’s access to abortion. And that’s why actions by Democratic AGs largely are so important. We’re going to continue to fight going forward.”
A total of 12 states joined the lawsuit against the FDA: Rosenblum and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson led the lawsuit, joined by Nevada, Delaware, Illinois, Connecticut, Colorado, Vermont, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. The states requested a preliminary injunction to halt the restrictions on mifepristone, which require that health care providers be specially certified by the drug distributor in advance, patients and providers be willing to sign an agreement certifying that the patient has decided to take drugs to end their pregnancy, and pharmacies be specially certified to fill a prescription and dispense the drug.
Mayes claimed in a press release on the FDA lawsuit that mifepristone is safe. The FDA restrictions, specifically a risk evaluation mitigation strategy (REMS), ensure that mifepristone’s benefits outweigh any risks. Congressional Research Service (CRS) noted that the FDA is looking to roll back these REMS regulations.
During the MSNBC interview, Mayes also revealed that she plans to set up a “reproductive rights” unit in her office. She further added that she wouldn’t prosecute anyone for providing an abortion, even if they broke state law, and would do everything in her power to prevent county attorneys from enforcing abortion law. Mayes noted that she’s able to defy law because she and Gov. Katie Hobbs are Democrats.
“You do have a state like Arizona that has a Republican legislature, thankfully we have a Democratic attorney general and a Democratic governor now who will stop that kind of thing,” said Mayes. “I have been clear here in Arizona that we will never prosecute a woman, a doctor, a midwife, a nurse for abortion. But we have 15 county attorneys in Arizona and I’ve been clear also that I will fight any effort by a county attorney to prosecute.”
Mayes’ pledge to not prosecute aligns with her campaign promise to oppose abortion law.
Mayes claimed abortion is a constitutional right, and indicated that she would take legal action to fight current abortion restrictions. Arizona law currently bans abortion after 15 weeks.
“We are prepared to take action in support of those constitutional rights,” said Mayes.
At least three cities have effectively decriminalized abortion: Tucson, Phoenix, and, most recently, Flagstaff.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.