The FDA permanently lifted a restriction on abortion pills that prevented prescribers from sending the pills through the mail
It allows patients to have a telemedicine appointment with a provider who can prescribe them the abortion pills and send them to the patient by the mail
It means that medication abortion will become more readily available to women who find it burdensome to travel to an abortion clinic
But six states have banned mailing of the pills and seven states passed laws that patients must get the pills from a provider
The FDA's decision will also not overturn the law in 19 states that ban telemedicine visits for abortion pills
Under the decision, prescribers will need to be certified
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The federal government on Thursday permanently lifted a restriction on an abortion pill that prevented prescribers from sending it through the mail.
The drug, mifepristone, is the first in a two-drug medication therapy used to terminate pregnancies up to 10 weeks.
Under US regulations on the pill, it must be dispensed in clinics or hospitals by specially-certified providers who must sign an agreement, and obtain the patient's signature to acknowledge the provider informed them about the drug.
The second drug in the regimen, misoprostol, which is taken up to 48 hours after the first, though. has long been obtainable with a prescription at any pharmacy.
But on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration means that medication abortion will become more readily available to women who find it burdensome to travel to an abortion clinic, and those who would like to terminate their pregnancies from the comfort of their own home.
It allows patients to have a telemedicine appointment with a provider who can prescribe them the abortion pills, and send them to the patient by mail.
The decision, though, comes as the Supreme Court is set to hear a major case about abortion rights - and could overturn Roe v. Wade.
The FDA on Thursday lifted a restriction on Mifepristone that prevented prescribers from sending the drugs through the mail
As the Supreme Court prepared to hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade, Amelia Bonow, Erin Jorgensen and Alana Edmondson publicly took abortion pills
Under the current practice, women who live in states that do not allow telemedicine for abortion pills must travel to a state that does - but they may be in any location within the state for the telehealth visit and can receive the pills at any address in the state.
Thursday's decision will not override the regulations in 19 states - mainly in the South and the Midwest - where telemedicine visits for the pills are banned.
'It's really significant,' Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, said of the FDA's decision on Thursday.
'Telehealth abortions are much easier for both providers and patients, and even in states that want to do it, there have been limits on how available it is,' she told the New York Times.
Several states have restricted the mailing and prescribing of abortion pills over the past year, with six states banning the mailing of the pills in preparation of the FDA's decision, the Times reports, and seven states passing laws requiring pills be obtained from a provider.
Four others passed laws to set the limit on medication abortion at earlier than 10 weeks gestation, which is when the pills cease to be effective.
Meanwhile, data released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that medication abortion has become an increasingly popular way to terminate a pregnancy.
The data shows that 42 percent of all abortions and 54 percent of abortions before 10 weeks occurred with medication in 2019.
And in 2020, in states like Indiana, Kansas and Minnesota, medication abortion accounted for the majority of abortions.
The CDC also reported that 79 percent of all abortions occurred before 10 weeks gestation, suggesting more women may choose abortion pills over an in-clinic procedure, according to the Times.
- > Supreme Court returns case on Texas abortion law back to... > Member of Biden's Supreme Court 'packing' commission says...
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Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10319243/FDA-allow-abortion-pills-sent-mail-terminate-pregnancies-10-weeks.html1685