The Federal Drug Administration announced its decision to allow abortion pills to be sold in pharmacies and through mail-orders companies with a prescription from a certified healthcare provider. Any brick-
and-mortar pharmacy can provide the pills to patients as long at drugstores and large chains have completed the certification process, Causes.com reported.
The FDA will also allow medical professionals to write a prescription for abortion pills through telemedicine—video, phone or online questionnaires—removing the in-person requirement originally put in place.
“Although the FDA’s announcement today will not solve access issues for every person seeking abortion care, it will allow more patients who need mifepristone for medication abortion additional options to secure this vital drug,” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said.
There are two pills in the abortion medication; mifepristone is the first pill and was only ever available from a few mail-order pharmacies or “specially certified doctors and clinics,” while misoprostol, the second pill, was never as strictly regulated at the first pill.
According to Guttmacher Institute, abortion pills were used in half of the terminated pregnancies in America. And the abortion pills have been in greater demand since the overturn of Roe v. Wade. But more than half the states won’t be able to sell the pills because of strict state laws that will make it illegal.
Many believe the FDA’s decision will significantly expand access to abortions in the United States.
“By allowing brick-and-mortar pharmacies to dispense medication abortion care, the FDA is treating medication abortion like the safe, effective, time-sensitive care that it is,” Kirsten Moore, the director of the Expanding Medication Abortion Access project, said.
But others criticized the decision.
“The Biden administration has once again provided that it values abortion industry profits over women’s safety and unborn children’s lives,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-life America, said. “Abortion activists want to turn every post office and pharmacy into an abortion office, and the Biden FDA is a willing participant.”
As of now, large pharmacy chains and local drugstores have yet to say whether or not they will start selling the abortion pills.