Galvanized by Dobbs, more doctors are distributing abortion pills by mail

A new president could reverse an FDA rule change that made it possible.

By RUTH READER
09/21/2022

Doctors at online and brick and mortar primary care companies are slowly starting to prescribe medication abortion pills via telemedicine in states where it’s still legal following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision ending the constitutional right to the procedure.

The FDA has yet to update its rules to make way for large retail pharmacies to dispense medication abortion, limiting how patients can get pills. In the meantime, these companies are leaning on two mail-order pharmacies to fill their prescriptions.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/21/dobbs-abortion-pills-roe-00057877


Champagne and cigars are just fine. It’s Thérèse Coffey’s views on abortion that worry me

Let’s not mock the health secretary for her socialising but pay attention to her politics

Catherine Bennett
10 Sep 2022

‘Tiz” and Liz. Elena Ferrante’s Lenù and Lila transplanted to Downham Market. It came as news to a lot of us that Truss’s premiership is also the latest chapter in her long friendship with Thérèse Coffey, whom she has just made deputy prime minister and health secretary.

Last week, their joint struggle – via marital drama, constituency revolt and other colourful setbacks – to escape the stultifying culture of student politics and seek fulfilment at the very top of the Conservative party culminated in a joyful series of interviews by the loyal deputy.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/10/liz-truss-gifted-bff-tiz-chance-harm-womens-rights-to-abortion


Permanent access to at-home abortions to be granted in England and Wales

Abortion Act to be amended from 30 August after ministers forced to ditch plans to scrap ‘pills by post’ service

Andrew Gregory, Health editor
Tue 23 Aug 2022

Women in England and Wales will be able to permanently access early medical abortions at home from next week after ministers were forced to abandon plans to scrap the “pills by post” service.

The move will benefit thousands of women who wish to take the tablets needed to end a pregnancy in the privacy of their own home, rather than having to take the first pills at a clinic or hospital.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/23/permanent-access-to-at-home-abortions-to-be-granted-in-england-and-wales


Let’s Talk About Misoprostol—the Original Abortion Pill

7/28/2022
by CAITLIN GERDTS, RUVANI JAYAWEERA and CARRIE N. BAKER
The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has paved the way for more than half of U.S. states to outlaw abortion. As we look to the future of abortion in the U.S., we can learn from the experiences of people in countries with restrictive abortion laws who have managed to find safe, effective ways to have abortions by using the original abortion pill: misoprostol.

In the 1980s, Brazilians discovered that an ulcer medication, misoprostol, could induce a miscarriage by causing contractions of the uterus to expel a pregnancy. Across Latin America, women and other people who can become pregnant began to use misoprostol to manage their own abortions. Infection, hemorrhaging and death from unsafe abortion declined precipitously.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2022/07/28/misoprostol-abortion-pill/


How Abortion Pills Changed the Political Debate in Ireland

Analysis by Clara Ferreira Marques
May 17, 2022

If the US Supreme Court overturns the five-decade-old constitutional right to abortion, as expected, many women will find it far harder to end an unwanted pregnancy. But this won’t be a return to pre-1973, largely thanks to changes to medical technology. Abortion pills, often taken at home, are already making the reality of abortion easier and safer in the early stages of gestation. And even with inevitable new restrictions, they are set to change the political fight too.

Sydney Calkin is a senior lecturer in human geography at Queen Mary University of London and the author of a forthcoming book,  “Abortion Beyond Borders: Abortion Pills and the Future of Reproductive Freedoms.” Her work has focused on cross-border abortion access and activism, an area where politics, gender and reproduction overlap. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/how-abortion-pills-changed-the-political-debate-in-ireland/2022/05/17/f409c526-d5ed-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html


Medication Abortions Are Increasing: What They Are and Where Women Get Them

Most abortions overseas involve pills, and the method is used in about half of legal U.S. abortions. It also seems to be the future of illicit abortion.

By Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz
May 9, 2022

Taking pills to end a pregnancy accounts for a growing share of abortions in the United States, both legal and not. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade as expected, medication abortion will play a larger role, especially among women who lose access to abortion clinics.

What is medication abortion?
It’s a regimen of pills that women can take at home, a method increasingly used around the world.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/09/upshot/abortion-pills-medication-roe-v-wade.html


Washington doctor on leading edge of abortion rights turns to next frontier after Roe: Pills

May 8, 2022
By Nina Shapiro, Seattle Times staff reporter

Several years ago, an abortion rights activist got in touch with Dr. Suzanne Poppema, a reproductive rights leader retired from her Seattle-area practice. As states were passing abortion restrictions, plans were in the works for an offshore internet service that would supply abortion pills to women who couldn’t get them at home.

Would Poppema get involved?

Continued: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washington-doctor-on-leading-edge-of-abortion-rights-turns-to-next-frontier-after-roe-pills/


The FDA made mail-order abortion pills legal. Access is still a nightmare.

Restrictive states have already set their sights on a new wave of telehealth companies that were supposed to be a panacea for a post-Roe world.

By Julia Craven 
Mar 29, 2022

When Emma found out she was pregnant in February, it was too late for an in-clinic abortion.

She estimated that she was at six weeks, but Texas, a bastion of retrograde abortion policy, bans the procedure at roughly that mark, so any local options were out of the question. Her local Planned Parenthood told her to prepare to travel out of state and offered to connect her with a clinic. Emma, who takes medication that makes her cycle irregular, wanted an ultrasound to confirm her recollection of the gestation age. But the clinic didn’t have an appointment for the next two weeks.

Continued:  https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/22968993/abortion-pills-mail-medication-fda-texas


England abortion ‘pills by post’ scheme to be scrapped in September

Change in law during Covid pandemic has allowed women to take pills without visiting clinic or hospital

Denis Campbell Health policy editor
Thu 24 Feb 2022

Women in England will be able to access abortion pills more easily for the next six months, but the temporary “pills by post” scheme brought in because of Covid will then be scrapped in September.

Maggie Throup, the public health minister, confirmed on Thursday that women seeking to terminate a pregnancy by taking the two pills involved at home would lose that right at the end of August.

Continued:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/24/england-abortion-pill-by-post-scheme-scrapped-september-change-law-covid-pandemic


USA – Abortion Pills Are Very Safe and Effective, yet Government Rules Still Hinder Access

If the U.S. Supreme Court fails to uphold abortion rights this spring, more restrictions are likely

By Claudia Wallis | Scientific American
March 2022 Issue

Ever since it was approved in 2000 as an abortion pill, mifepristone has been regulated as if it were a dangerous substance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration required doctors to be specially certified to prescribe it. Patients had to sign an agreement confirming that they had been counseled on its risks. Most onerously, the pill had to be given in person in an approved clinical setting—even though a second drug used to complete the abortion, misoprostol, could be taken at home. In addition, 17 U.S. states have passed laws requiring an ultrasound scan before mifepristone can be prescribed. Yet decades of study have shown that the medication is safe and that those restrictions are needless, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical groups. The rules have more to do with politics and ideology than with science.

Continued: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/abortion-pills-are-very-safe-and-effective-yet-government-rules-still-hinder-access/