The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided Thursday to relax restrictions on where women can obtain abortion pills.
Women will now be able to receive abortion pills via mail rather than having to get the pills in person from specified providers. Women will be able to get the pills prescribed by a doctor via a telemedicine appointment, before having the pills shipped to them by a pharmacy.
JUST IN: The FDA said it will issue new guidance that will make abortion pills more accessible in some states, even after the pandemic.https://t.co/lVBsp5hRFv
— Axios (@axios) December 16, 2021
The in-person requirement was already temporarily lifted during the COVID-19 pandemic due to difficulties for some women getting in-person appointments. In 19 states, prescribing abortion medications via telemedicine is banned, according to The New York Times.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 42% of all abortions in 2019 were done using medication, including nearly 54% of abortions before 10 weeks. (RELATED: ‘What Specifically Is The Right Here?’: Justice Thomas Questions Where In The Constitution Abortion Is Protected)
Some experts say that chemically-induced abortions are more dangerous for women. According to a study commissioned by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), women who use abortion pills have a 53% greater chance of needing an emergency-room visit for abortion-related reasons and were twice as likely to end up in an ER after subsequent abortions.
“Women are far more likely to visit the emergency room following a chemical rather than surgical abortion. The rate of these emergency room visits is growing remarkably fast,” said CLI vice president of data analytics Dr. James Studnicki. “It is therefore terrifying that the FDA is actively being pressured to eliminate longstanding public health safeguards on the abortion pill. This comprehensive data advocates for the FDA to strengthen, rather than weaken, medical oversight of chemical abortion.”
The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments on a case challenging Roe v. Wade which would ban abortion after 15 weeks in the state of Mississippi. Pro-abortion activists have made access to abortion pills a priority in protests surrounding the case at the court.