FDA Makes Abortion Pills More Widely Available at Pharmacies 

The Food and Drug Administration finalized a new rule change that makes abortion pills more widely available to more pharmacies across the U.S., including large chains and mail-order companies.

The new rules allow certified pharmacies to provide abortion pills with a prescription. 

The change was partially implemented by the Biden administration last year, announcing it would no longer enforce a requirement that women pick up the medicine in person.

The new action formally updates drug labeling to allow many more retail pharmacies to dispense the pills, so long as they complete a certification process.

Ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated the federal constitutional right to an abortion, there has been widespread fear that abortion pills could face restrictions next. So too is their fear that birth control could be restricted by the Conservative court and conservative lawmakers. 

The FDA change does not mean abortion pills are equally accessible everywhere amid ongoing state-level battles over the legality of abortion procedures after the fall of Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court last summer. 

So, therefore, the FDA rule change has, however, been blunted by state laws limiting abortion broadly and pills specifically. Legal experts foresee years of court battles over access to the pills, as abortion-rights proponents bring test cases to challenge state restrictions.

Republican states have made massive moves over the past several months to limit or completely ban abortion access. 

The Justice Department recently said the U.S. Postal Service can deliver abortion drugs. This is something that the Biden administration believes could help protect abortion access across the nation. 

Abortion pills like mifepristone, authorized by the FDA to end pregnancies up to 10 weeks, are used in more than half of pregnancy terminations in the U.S. 

Before the update to the FDA rules, abortion pills could only be distributed by a certified health care provider.

Now, pharmacies can decide whether to provide the pills and whether those will be provided either in-person or via mail order. 

Big pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens said they are reviewing the updated requirements from the FDA. 

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