The Vermont Legislature passed reproductive and gender-affirming health care bills on Thursday with a late addition aimed at protecting access to a medication widely used in abortions even if the Food and Drug Administration withdraws its approval of the pill, mifepristone. The bills protect providers from discipline for providing legally protected reproductive and gender affirming health care services. Legislators recently tacked on medicated abortion to the definition of legally protective reproductive health care services, and believe the state is the first to do so. If the FDA approval is withdrawn, the drug companies can no longer market the drug, said Vermont state Sen. Virginia Lyons. “But production can still take place and they can be purchased for use by pharmacists or providers. So it’s still available but what this does is it says, with or without FDA approval, this drug is available to folks in the state of Vermont. And that’s a big deal,” Lyons said.
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