FDA Lifts Rules on Abortion Pill, Permanently Allowing Medication to Be Mailed

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has lifted restrictions previously placed on abortion medication. It also permanently ended rules that required pills to be obtained in person.

The policy change will allow abortion medication, which is what reproductive rights activists want, to be mailed to individuals who prefer it. Long advocated.

The FDA originally relaxed rules on the medication in AprilShe cited the ongoing coronavirus epidemic and the need for limiting personal interactions with others. The latest move by the agency lightening the regulation of abortion pillsThe change is made permanent by the Thursday amendment.

The FDA didn’t produce a formal announcement regarding the change. Instead, the FDA updated their website and sent letters of thanks to the companies that produce the medication, mifepristone.

A spokesperson for the agency explained the agency’s decision-making process. “The agency conducted a comprehensive review of the published literature, relevant safety and adverse event data, and information provided by advocacy groups, individuals and the applicants to reach this decision,” the spokesperson said.

Many people praised the decision, noting it was a crucial step to expand abortion access across the country in a time where abortion rights are being attacked.

“The FDA’s decision eliminating its unnecessary in-person requirement [for abortion medication] did not come a moment too soon,” American Civil Liberties Union attorney Julia Kaye said in a statement.

This month, The Supreme Court heard a Mississippi abortion caseThis seeks to repeal the protections provided by the landmark Roe v. Wade1973 decision. Through their questions and comments during oral argument, the conservative bloc of justices indicated that they were ready to curtail abortion rights, which the Court had recognized nearly half a century earlier.

Some advocates have noted that the FDA’s changes, while a step in the right direction, were incomplete.

“The FDA’s move is a step in the right direction, but they did not remove the requirement that prescribers must be certified, which can be an arduous process,” explained Ushma Upadhyaya researcher on abortion and an associate professor at the University of California in San Francisco. “Additionally, 19 states effectively ban telehealth for abortion. This will not help the states that have the greatest need to expand their abortion providers. There is so much more work to do.”

The drug is still subject to restrictions at the federal and state level. The abortion pill can only be safely used in individuals who are at 10 weeks’ gestation or earlierFor example, deadlines in many states are shorter than this.

It may be difficult for some to take the pill. Six states are considered to be ineligible. including TexasYou can ban the sending of abortion pills. Telemedicine visits for abortion medication are banned, which creates obstacles for those who cannot travel or do not wish to travel.

Other restrictions regarding the purchase of the medication will be kept in place by FDA. Patients will still have to obtain a prescription to receive the drug and sign consent forms stating that their health provider has informed them of the drug’s effects.

The prescription requirement could directly impact medical providers in certain states. You might consider replicating the Texas abortion ban that is so restrictiveThe law allows private individuals to sue anyone who provided abortion services for up to $10,000 if they help another person get an abortion. Texas has already bannedYou can mail abortion pills to the state.

The policy change will also be made. may be helpful to states that are attempting to expand access to abortion, even to residents from out-of-state. California is an example. is aiming to become an “abortion sanctuary”Should RoeOverturned. California lawmakers are considering providing funds to allow people to travel to California to get an abortion, in the event that their home state restricts or bans access. The procedure. It is possible in certain circumstances, depending on how Supreme Court rules. Roe), that California lawmakers could use this new rule from the FDA in a way that is beneficial to residents beyond the state’s borders.