The FDA permanently removed the limitations on mail-order abortion pills Thursday, December 16, 2021, making it possible for women to receive Mifepristone by mail after a single telehealth visit with a certified care provider. At the beginning of the pandemic, the FDA had allowed the abortion pill to be temporarily accessed by mail to mitigate the supposed risk of an in-person doctor’s visit. Prior to this, under the Trump Administration abortion pill access by mail had been banned, requiring women to visit a provider in-person to receive the medication before undergoing an abortion.
How the Abortion Pill Works
Mifepristone, the medication now available by mail, is the first medication used in the two-step process of aborting a baby under 11 weeks gestation. Misoprostol is the second pill which causes the uterus to contract, in the same way that it would during labor, to deliver the aborted baby. Misoprostol (the second pill) has always been available at a pharmacy with an appropriate prescription from a doctor, which is why this new FDA regulation does not center around this medication as much as it does the first pill in the series (Mifepristone).
According to recent CDC data, around 40% of all abortions in the United States are medication abortions, also known as chemical abortions, with this method being available to women who are 10 weeks pregnant or less.
State and National Abortion Accessibility
Nineteen states currently ban medication abortion obtained via a telehealth visit, requiring that women seeking abortion have an in-person visit with a provider to receive the abortion pill prescription. This decision by the FDA does not undo the restrictions some states have placed on telehealth abortion visits but allows the states who currently desire to provide abortion pills by mail the ability to keep that access in place. By removing the need for in-person visits, access to abortion is increased exponentially. In particular, some states are increasingly making it possible for those who may be seeking abortions in a restricted state to gain access to on-demand abortion pills by obtaining the pills through travel to a less restricted state.
How the Pro-life Movement can Fight Back
Although access to the abortion pill protocol will be more widespread due to this decision, it is not a completely safe alternative to surgical abortion like pro-choice activists would have one believe and it’s now more important than ever for pro-life advocates to make this known. To learn how to actively and effectively share the truth about the dangers of chemical abortion visit thisischemicalabortion.com.
Libby writes from the perspective of a trained mental health counselor, mother, and wife. She seeks to defend the preborn using both science and empathy for mothers and babies.