Bay Area abortion rights advocates rally to keep Mifepristone legal

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, April 16, 2023
Bay Area abortion rights advocates rally to keep Mifepristone legal
A group of abortion rights advocates rallied at Oakland City Hall demanding Mifepristone, commonly used in abortions, remain legal and available.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The battle over reproductive rights took a new turn this weekend surrounding the drug Mifepristone, commonly used in chemical abortions. The Supreme Court is weighing in, allowing access to the drug for now. Abortion rights advocates rallied in the East Bay Saturday, demanding the drug be available to those who need it.

"Abortion is a right, we won't give up the fight, the group chanted.

A small but vocal group of abortion rights advocates rallied at Oakland City Hall demanding the drug Mifepristone, commonly used in chemical abortions, remain legal and available.

"As you know, Mifepristone is under attack by judges and we think it's critically important people come out to understand why it's upsetting," said Lauren Babb from Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.

MORE: Abortion pill ruling: What is the impact on mifepristone access in California?

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state has secured an emergency stockpile of two million pills of Misoprostol.

Emotions are running high on both sides as the fierce debate over future of abortion plays out Nationwide. The Supreme Court stepping in Friday, as Justice Samuel Alito issued an administrative stay of the ruling in Texas that would overturn the FDA'S original approval of Mifepristone that would essentially take the pill off the market - now giving the court until April 20 to review the case and decide what their next steps will be.

"It's bad enough the Supreme Court took federal rights to abortion away last year, now they're trying to strip away every way for us to deliver abortion care in this country," said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

"It's a distressing time for reproductive health," said Catherine Porter.

The last minute weigh-in from the high court bringing a temporary sigh of relief for abortion rights advocates after conflicting rulings in Washington State and Texas have left the use of the drug Nationwide up in the air.

MORE: 'Abortion pill' mifepristone is also used widely to treat miscarriages, doctors say

"We were talking to doctors around the country and there was mass confusion and chaos," said Jennifer Delven from ACLU.

The Anti Abortion rights group, Alliance Defending Freedom represents four doctors from the original Texas case.

"We're confident that when the courts or any courts look at the facts and the law of this case, they're going to agree with us, this is next step in lengthy litigation," said Attorney Eric Baptist from Alliance Defending Freedom.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced this week the state has begun stockpiling mass quantities of an alternative abortion medication if Mifepristone is banned.

"I hope the Supreme Court will do the right thing, but we need to be prepared to push back and say enough is enough - we need to stand up for reproductive healthcare," Arreguin added.

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