Padden opposes bill authorizing state agency to distribute, sell abortion-causing pills

Sen. Mike Padden today stood up in support of life and against the majority Democrats’ passage of a Senate bill that would further advance Gov. Jay Inslee’s extreme pro-abortion agenda in Washington.

Senate Bill 5768 passed along party lines, 28-18. It would authorize the state Department of Corrections to distribute or sell the abortion-causing drug mifepristone to licensed health-care providers in Washington. The bill puts the legislative branch of state government in the position of granting its permission after the fact, as the executive branch of government has already purchased what is described as a three-year supply of the chemical.

“I can’t support any bill that makes abortions easier in our state,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “Unborn children need to be considered in this issue. Public money, which is provided by many taxpayers across the state who oppose abortion, should not be spent to stockpile an abortion drug that eventually might be banned by the U.S. Supreme Court if and when that court hears a case over mifepristone. This bill helps realize Governor Inslee’s terrible goal to make Washington an abortion-destination state.”

During debate on SB 5768, six floor amendments introduced by Senate Republicans were all defeated along party lines. Under Padden’s amendment, if the federal Food and Drug Administration rescinds approval for mifepristone, health-care providers would have been required to obtain informed consent informing patients of the drug’s side effects, including heavy bleeding, hemorrhaging, cramping, infection, sepsis “and other severe outcomes.”

“No matter what side of the issue you are on, we should all be concerned about the safety of patients who take this drug,” said Padden in explaining his amendment. “We need to do that in this case. The side effects of this drug are significant. If mifepristone winds up not being approved by the FDA, we need to make sure that patients are told of this drug’s side effects.”

Another Republican amendment, introduced by 18th District Sen. Ann Rivers, would have prohibited DOC from purchasing additional abortion medications without express legislative authority and an appropriation in the state operating budget.

SB 5768 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

According to a KOMO News story, medical abortions count for more than half of all abortions in the U.S. and nearly 60% of abortions in Washington.

Padden criticized Senate Democrats for not scheduling the bill for a public hearing in the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee, of which he is a member.

“Instead of holding a public hearing on this bill in a policy committee, which would have been the appropriate step to take, the Senate majority chose to fast-track it by running it through the Ways and Means Committee,” added Padden.

Inslee recently announced that DOC, under his orders, purchased a three-year supply (30,000 doses) of mifepristone. Inslee also revealed that the University of Washington provided an additional 10,000 pills of this abortion-causing drug, bringing the state’s supply to 40,000 pills. Inslee said it cost the state $1,275,000 to buy the 30,000 pills. The pills were purchased with money appropriated to DOC in the 2021-23 operating budget.

“I’m very disappointed that the governor has spent well over a million tax dollars to buy such a large supply of abortion-causing drugs as part of his grand plan to make Washington a destination state for women from other states to come here to receive an abortion,”
said Padden. “What about the unborn child?”

The 2023 legislative session is scheduled to end April 23.