States maintaining reserve of abortion pills after Supreme Court's hold on limitations

On Friday, Alito placed a hold on mifepristone restrictions until Wednesday — creating a dash to up supply

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published April 15, 2023 9:49AM (EDT)

Packages of Mifepristone tablets (Photo illustration by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Packages of Mifepristone tablets (Photo illustration by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito placed a hold on restrictions previously put in motion for the abortion pill mifepristone. As the hold is set until Wednesday, this creates a window of time to stockpile available supply, which certain states are actively doing. 

In a report from The Baltimore Sun, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced that "the state has begun the process of stockpiling the drug mifepristone as the federal courts wrestle over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's long-standing approval of the medicine."

"This purchase is another example of our administration's commitment to ensure Maryland remains a safe haven for abortion access and quality reproductive health care," Moore said Friday in a statement.

Prior to Alito's hold on restrictions, other states such as Massachusetts made an early call to stockpile in anticipation of whatever was to come.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey requested that the University of Massachusetts place an order for 15,000 doses of mifepristone ramping up to the ruling, according to

"This political intervention into basic medical care hurts women at what can be a difficult and heartbreaking time, putting those experiencing pregnancy loss through greater discomfort, greater pain, and in some cases threatening their lives," Healey said earlier this week. "It harms patients, undermines medical expertise, and takes away freedom. It's an attempt to punish, to shame, to marginalize women."

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As NPR point out, "Friday's hold was in response to a formal request earlier in the day from the Justice Department to block a federal appeals court decision that limits access to the abortion drug mifepristone." From here, Alito has put it in the hands of anyone challenging the F.D.A.'s approval of mifepristone to file their briefs by noon on Tuesday. 

"The court is very likely to act before then and could in the coming days further curtail access to abortion, even in states where it is legal," according to The New York Times

By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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Abortion Aggregate Mifepristone Supreme Court