FDA Changes Rules for Abortion Pills


Mifepristone | Image by Caitlin Ochs/Illustration/REUTERS

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized a relaxation on regulations that will permit approved retail pharmacies to stock and provide abortion-inducing drugs.

Previously, women seeking an abortion via medication had to receive pills from the doctor who prescribed them, whether in person or through a telemedical service. Now pharmacies will be able to dispense the drugs to anyone with a prescription.

The ruling applies specifically to the drug mifepristone, which was first approved in 2000, with generic versions of the drug receiving approval in 2019.

“Mifepristone may only be dispensed by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber, or by a certified pharmacy on a prescription issued by a certified prescriber,” the new rule stipulates.

“Mifepristone is a drug that blocks a hormone called progesterone that is needed for a pregnancy to continue,” the FDA explained. “Mifepristone, when used together with another medicine called misoprostol, is used to end a pregnancy through ten weeks gestation (70 days or less since the first day of the last menstrual period).”

For a pharmacy to provide the drug, it must “become certified to dispense mifepristone” by completing a pharmacy agreement form. Additionally, “certified pharmacies must be able to ship mifepristone using a shipping service that provides tracking information.”

Honeybee Health, an online pharmacy in California, became one of the first to receive approval from the FDA.

Jessica Nouhavandi, a co-founder, explained, “Doing this really important work has meant a lot to us at HoneyBee, and I’m excited for the rest of the pharmacy community to be able to do this as well.”

Others, however, have denounced the decision from the FDA.

Kristan Hawkins, president of the anti-abortion group Students for Life, responded, “The Biden administration is making dangerous chemical abortion pills attainable at every corner as it lowers the medical standards for protecting women.”

“The objective of this administration has always been increased access to dangerous drugs, which is why Students for Life has launched a multi-layered campaign to demand transparency and real tests into the impact of these pills on women and the environment,” she continued.

In Texas, the rule shift is unlikely to make a substantial difference, as abortion is already illegal in the state in almost all cases. Nevertheless, state legislators have filed bills for the upcoming 88th session that could affect the dispensation in Texas of abortion-inducing drugs.

State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) has filed legislation to strengthen medical professionals’ “right to decline participation in health care service for reasons of conscience,” including the “procurement of contraceptives, sterilization, or abortion.”

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29 days ago

Part of being free is having the freedom to do great harm to yourself. If someone wants to use chemical abortion as their preferred form of birth control then let them. Eventually the truth about it being harmless or harmful will come out.

Reply to  Bill
29 days ago

Being free to do harm to yourself may be ok, but you are never free to do great harm to another person. Every medical textbook states that life begins at conception. You are not free to take another human life for your convenience.

Reply to  Jim
29 days ago

Yes you are. Abortion like it or not is perfectly legal in every state although it is regulated to a certain degree.

Reply to  Bill
28 days ago

You’re correct about the legality. But being legal is not the same as being right or moral. At one time it was legal to own slaves.