BY KATE SMITH, CBS NEWS
OCTOBER 5, 2020
In the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, millions of Americans wondered what the future of abortion access might look like. They won't wait long to find out.
Any day now, the current eight-justice Supreme Court is expected to issue its first decision on abortion access. The case, Food and Drug Administration v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, considers abortion via pill and whether patients, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, should still be required to make an in-person trip to a doctor's office in order to receive the medication.
Monday's ruling could be the first step in making medication abortion easier—and safe—to access.
Jul 15, 2020
Jessica Mason Pieklo
Medication abortion access just got a little easier and safer for patients during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s about damn time, and it should stay this way forever.
A federal judge in Maryland issued an order on Monday blocking the Trump administration from enforcing a restriction that prevents patients from accessing medication abortion without a doctor’s visit, on the grounds that it likely unduly burdens abortion rights in the middle of a pandemic.
In a victory for reproductive rights, many patients seeking medication abortion will no longer have to travel during the pandemic for care.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
For the first time ever, U.S. women seeking to terminate a pregnancy using medication abortion will be able to legally obtain the pills through the mail, avoiding the need for an in-person doctor’s visit.
A federal court ruled on Monday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must suspend a rule that requires patients to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain mifepristone, a drug used to terminate pregnancies, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Medication Abortion and Telemedicine: Innovations and Barriers During the COVID-19 Emergency
Amrutha Ramaswamy, Gabriela Weigel, Laurie Sobel
Jun 08, 2020
State actions in response to the COVID-19 crisis have highlighted their divergent approaches to abortion access. Some states classified abortion as a non-essential service, effectively banning services, while others have clarified that abortion is an essential service. In a handful of states, some clinics have begun to offer medication abortions using telemedicine. This approach maintains access to abortion while social distancing, preserving personal protective equipment (PPE), and limiting in-person health care visits and risk of exposure.
In 2017, 39% of all abortions in the U.S. were medication abortions (also known as abortions induced by pills). These abortions are provided using two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol. While public knowledge about medication abortion is very low, even fewer people may be aware that telemedicine can aid in the provision of this service. Research shows that providing medication abortion by telemedicine is clinically feasible and safe, but COVID-19 has highlighted the impact of new and existing federal and state restrictions on providing abortions using this approach.
Telemedicine Abortion Gains Momentum During Pandemic
— But FDA regulations on mifepristone still limit access
by Amanda D'Ambrosio, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
June 2, 2020
As access to in-person abortion clinics dwindled during the COVID-19 pandemic, providers have seen increased demand and awareness of another method of abortion care: telemedicine.
Melissa Grant, chief operating officer of carafem, a national abortion and birth control clinic, said that "there's definitely been a marked increase" in telemedicine abortions since stay-at-home orders were put in place.
New Lawsuit Challenges FDA Restriction That Imposes Life-Threatening Risks on Patients Seeking Abortion and Miscarriage Care
ACLU, leading medical experts and reproductive justice advocates ask court to block FDA restriction that subjects patients and clinicians to needless COVID-19 risk
May 27, 2020
WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit today on behalf of a coalition of medical experts led by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The legal action challenges a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule that subjects patients to unnecessary COVID-19 risks as a condition of receiving a medication used for early abortion and miscarriage treatment.
ACOG Suit Petitions the FDA to Remove Burdensome Barriers to Reproductive Care During COVID-19
May 27, 2020
Washington, DC – The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) took another step toward achieving equitable access to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic by asking a federal court to require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to suspend a harmful FDA restriction on mifepristone. Joining ACOG as plaintiffs in today’s lawsuit are the Council of University Chairs of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the New York Academy of Family Physicians, and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.
Mifepristone is an evidence-based treatment prescribed for management of early pregnancy loss as well as induced abortion. Although mifepristone has long been proven to be safe and effective when prescribed through telemedicine and can be safely taken in the comfort of a patient’s home, outdated FDA restrictions require mifepristone to be dispensed in a hospital, clinic, or medical office.
Feminist Multi-Front Battle to End FDA’s Abortion Pill Restriction
by Carrie N. Baker
Feminists have been fighting a defensive battle to protect abortion rights for years—but today some are taking the offense, pushing to expand abortion access by calling for the removal of FDA restriction on the abortion pill mifepristone.
Formerly known as RU-486, mifepristone ends pregnancy by blocking the effects of the hormone progesterone, which sustains pregnancy. Used in combination with another drug—misoprostol, which causes contractions to complete an abortion—mifepristone is extremely safe.
No-Test Medication Abortion Increases Safety and Access During COVID-19
A new study proposes an innovative, no-test medication abortion protocol that would enable clinicians to safely administer medication abortion to patients without any preliminary tests or in-person encounters
by Carrie N. Baker
Imagine a world where women could access safe and supported abortion health care without ever leaving their homes. In this world, after a phone call or video conference with a health care professional, women could receive the abortion pill in the mail, which they could take safely in the privacy of their own homes under the supervision of a clinician.
No invasive, time-consuming pelvic exams or blood tests. No state-mandated ultrasounds or waiting periods requiring multiple visits. No walking past lines of screaming anti-abortion protesters. No driving long distances, having to find and pay for child care, or taking time off from work. No exposure to COVID-19.
Abortion during the Covid-19 Pandemic — Ensuring Access to an Essential Health Service
Michelle J. Bayefsky, B.A., Deborah Bartz, M.D., M.P.H., and Katie L. Watson, J.D.
May 7, 2020
N Engl J Med 2020; 382:e47
Each year, nearly 1 million women choose to end a pregnancy in the United States, and about one quarter of American women will use abortion services by 45 years of age. Women’s ability to determine whether and when they have a child has profound consequences for their self-determination and for the economic, social, and political equality of women as a group. Because access to safe abortion care is time-sensitive and vitally important, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other reproductive health professional organizations issued an unequivocal statement on March 18, 2020, that they “do not support Covid-19 responses that cancel or delay abortion procedures.”