The United States lifted some limits on an abortion pill to end early pregnancies permanently on Thursday and allowed the medicine to be mailed to recipients rather than having to be given in person, Reuters reports.
The Food and Drug Administration’s decision comes as the right to terminate a pregnancy, which was secured by the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, is under jeopardy.
Mifepristone, the generic name for the abortion pill, is permitted for usage up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and is also sometimes given to treat miscarriages in women.
The government temporarily relaxed the limits on the tablet earlier this year owing to the epidemic, which had been in place since the FDA authorized the medicine in 2000. Women were able to visit healthcare specialists via telemedicine and acquire medicines by mail as a result of this. Because of the FDA’s ruling, the interim alteration is now permanent.
As a result of the FDA change in legislation, many patients will no longer be required to visit a clinic, medical office, or hospital in person to obtain their medicine; instead, they will be able to receive it through the post from a registered prescriber or pharmacy.
Women in isolated and rural regions who do not have access to abortion physicians would benefit from the judgment.
Women of low income who encounter challenges getting to clinics, such as transportation and the inability to take time off work, will have more access to the abortion pill.
States that have worked to improve abortion access, such as California and New York, may make the abortion pill available to women in other states.
The shift is expected to exacerbate the raging national abortion debate in the United States. In oral arguments on Dec. 1 concerning a Mississippi abortion restriction at 15 weeks of pregnancy, conservative Supreme Court justices suggested that they are open to weakening or overturning Roe. By the end of June, a decision should be made.
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