Progressives failed Canadian women on the abortion pill

The struggle to get Canadian women a good non-surgical option for abortion received little attention for years

Jamie Sarkonak,  National Post
Jun 30, 2022 

Before 2017, nearly all Canadian women seeking abortions had to undergo surgery, while women elsewhere could choose medication to induce a miscarriage.

For decades, Canada didn’t have the “gold standard” abortion pill, mifepristone (also known as RU-486, or Mifegymiso). After being used in France for 30 years and the United States for 15, the abortion pill was finally approved in Canada in 2015 under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, becoming available to the public in 2017. Among progressive politicians, only Thomas Mulcair’s New Democratic Party had pressed the issue. The Liberals did nothing. On the last major front for Canadian abortion rights, progressive politicians were largely silent.


Canada – Not quite there: abortion pill access in Sask. still limited

“If you have practitioners unwilling to oversee medical terminations, it doesn’t matter if they’re covered by healthcare or not.”

Larissa Kurz
Jun 18, 2022

Saskatchewan’s approval of an abortion pill under the provincial drug plan was hailed as a victory by sexual health advocates who had long pressed the government to improve options and access for pregnancy termination.

But five years later, the move has fallen short of expectations.


India’s abortion law still lacks a rights-based approach, gynecologist says

India's abortion law is progressive, but it is also problematic, says Dr. Suchitra Dalvie, a practicing gynecologist in Mumbai, India. The co-founder and coordinator of the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership unpacked the law and recent amendments to it with The World's reporter Chhavi Sachdev.

May 12, 2022
By Chhavi Sachdev

In India, abortion has been legal — within certain confines — for more than 50 years.

India's abortion law is progressive, but it is also problematic, says Dr. Suchitra Dalvie, a practicing gynecologist in Mumbai, India.


British firm to seek approval for abortion pill in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan Times
November 21, 2021

British pharmaceutical company Linepharma plans to apply to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry for approval of the abortion pill in late December, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Approval is expected within a year if the review process goes smoothly. It would be the first orally consumed abortion pill, or medication abortion, available in Japan, and is expected to help reduce the related physical and mental burden on women.


Saskatchewan doctors now compensated for providing abortion pill

By Mickey Djuric  The Canadian Press
Posted October 10, 2021

REGINA – Saskatchewan became the last province in Canada to bring in universal coverage for the abortion pill and two years later the province is finally paying doctors who provide it.

On Oct. 1, the province started offering a billing code for physicians who offer Mifegymiso, which terminates early pregnancy up to nine weeks.


South Korea – Regulator cautious about approving abortion drug Mifegymiso

Kim Chan-hyuk  
Published 2021.07.12

Hyundai Pharm recently applied for marketing approval for Mifegymiso, an abortion pill, but the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) remained passive to accelerate the review process.

Industry watchers are questioning why the regulator has reversed its stance after promising accelerated approval for the drug.


SCOTUS quietly banned the abortion pill from mail — the only mail-in medication barred during the pandemic

Julia Naftulin
Feb 27, 2021

Last month, the Supreme Court voted to ban the abortion pill, which is used to induce a miscarriage in people who are up to 11 weeks pregnant, from mail order during the pandemic.

The move makes the abortion pill the only prescription medication to have such restrictions.


The Future of the Abortion Pill

FDA’s regulation of medication abortion must be guided by science, not politics.

Jan 26, 2021
Jasmine Wang

Erectile dysfunction drugs have a mortality rate nearly four times greater than Mifeprex, otherwise known as the abortion pill. But despite being less safe, erectile dysfunction drugs are available over the counter at pharmacies. Mifeprex, by contrast, remains one of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) most heavily regulated drugs—and is even more restricted than fentanyl, an opioid.

This divergence in the regulation of Mifeprex compared to other drugs stems from highly politicized debates over abortion and reproductive rights. FDA’s regulation of Mifeprex, however, should be informed by science, not politics. Despite a demonstrated safety record, Mifeprex remains subject to restrictions that significantly limit its availability to consumers—restrictions that should be reserved for the most dangerous of drugs.


What underground abortions could look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned

DEC 11, 2020

Judge Amy Coney Barrett's recent confirmation into the Supreme Court could be a potential threat to abortion access and lead to even more "underground" abortions if the procedure becomes illegal in certain states, experts say.

Though underground abortions have continued in the wake of Roe v. Wade due to certain states' time-limiting abortion laws, those numbers could see a steep increase if states don't take individual responsibility to protect abortion rights, Carole Joffe, a sociologist and co-author of "Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America," told Insider.


The FDA approved the abortion pill 20 years ago. It’s time to make it available via telehealth

SEPTEMBER 24, 2020

Twenty years ago this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved a medication destined to become known as the abortion pill. Mifepristone, then called RU486, was going to change everything about abortion — it would expand access and remove the stigma.

I remember devouring the news because this little pill was going to give women reproductive autonomy and let them control if and when they have children. At the time, I was just starting my Ph.D. in public health. The news inspired and exhilarated me, and I knew that the abortion pill is what I wanted to focus my career on.