FDA Allows Abortion Pill to Stay Available by Mail

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By Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Access to termination pills by message was made imperishable by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration connected Thursday.

Patients volition beryllium capable to person a telemedicine assignment with a supplier who tin prescribe the pills and nonstop them to the diligent by mail, the FDA said successful new guidance issued Thursday.

Abortion pills are approved successful the United States for pregnancies up to 10 weeks' gestation and are an progressively communal method of ending an unwanted pregnancy.

Medication termination is simply a two-drug regimen that was approved successful the United States successful 2000, with restrictions lone connected the archetypal drug, mifepristone.

Earlier this year, the FDA said that for the duration of the pandemic, it would temporarily assistance the in-person request connected mifepristone. The caller announcement connected Thursday makes that determination permanent.

“It’s truly significant,” Mary Ziegler, a instrumentality prof astatine Florida State University, told The New York Times. “Telehealth abortions are overmuch easier for some providers and patients, and adjacent successful states that privation to bash it, determination person been limits connected however disposable it is.”

Other experts welcomed the news.

“This determination follows the science, thing we could lone anticipation for from our nation’s regulatory assemblage connected medications. And the subject shows that medicine termination attraction is harmless to administer via telehealth," Dr. Jamila Perritt, president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health, said successful a statement. "We knew this earlier the pandemic, and during this ongoing nationalist wellness emergency, telehealth became a captious mode for wellness attraction providers to connection this indispensable attraction portion we each attempted to trim vulnerability to the COVID-19 virus. This should person ever been an enactment for large patients and we’re relieved this is present possible."

The FDA's determination comes arsenic the Supreme Court is weighing termination rights, and the agency's ruling is apt to deepen divisions betwixt wide and blimpish states.

Nineteen states -- mostly successful the South and Midwest -- prohibition telemedicine visits for medicine abortion, and it's apt that they and different blimpish states volition walk much laws to trim entree to termination pills adjacent more, the Times reported. In contrast, wide states specified arsenic California and New York are expected to marque medicine termination much wide disposable and to instrumentality steps to assistance women successful states that don't let telemedicine for termination pills.


Currently, women successful states that don't let telemedicine for termination indispensable question to a authorities that does, but they don't request to spell to a clinic. They conscionable person to beryllium astatine immoderate determination successful the authorities -- adjacent a car -- for their telehealth sojourn and tin get the pills sent to immoderate code successful that state, the Times reported.

Abortion rights advocates are apt to effort to find ways to marque termination pills disposable without requiring a pistillate to travel, specified arsenic launching ineligible challenges to authorities bans connected telemedicine for abortion.

"Despite the FDA’s action, states crossed the state proceed to enforce medically unnecessary, unsafe restrictions connected medicine termination care," Perritt noted. "We volition support the enactment up until each people, nary substance wherever they live, tin get the attraction they need.”

Medication was utilized successful 42% of each abortions and 54% of abortions earlier 10 weeks successful the United States successful 2019, according to data released past period from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's the astir caller twelvemonth for which CDC information is available, the Times reported.

More information

Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for much connected mifepristone.

SOURCE: Jamila Perritt, MD, president and CEO, Physicians for Reproductive Health; The New York Times

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