USA – Beyond the ‘abortion pill’: Real-life experiences of individuals taking mifepristone

May 17, 2023
By Becky Sullivan

For a while, it was known as RU-486. It's called Mifeprex or mifepristone – but many know it as "the abortion pill." It is one of two drugs – along with misoprostol – that are used in more than half of abortions in the U.S. now. And it is the subject of a federal court case that could make it illegal.

As attorneys gather in New Orleans this week at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to argue whether this medication should be removed from the market all over the country, NPR asked people to share their experiences with using mifepristone. More than 150 people responded.


USA – The sole US supplier of a major abortion pill said it would not distribute the drug in 31 states

A list circulated in January by the distributor to Walgreens and CVS underscores the uncertainty surrounding abortion pills in the post-Roe era.

By Rachel M. Cohen
Updated Mar 17, 2023

Earlier this month, Politico broke news that Walgreens, the nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain, assured 21 Republican attorneys general that it would not dispense abortion pills in their states should the company be approved to dispense them. The decision was met with sharp protest by Walgreens customers, abortion rights activists, and Democrats, who accused the pharmacy of caving needlessly to pressure.

But fear of state prosecution is not the only factor shaping Walgreens’ decision-making. Another previously unreported constraint on the company is that its sole supplier of Mifeprex — the brand-name drug for the abortion pill mifepristone first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000 — circulated a list to its corporate clients in January naming 31 states that it would not supply the abortion medication to. Vox spoke with two sources who had reviewed that list recently.


US states file amicus brief in abortion medication lawsuit

Lou Kettering | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US
FEBRUARY 12, 2023

A coalition of 22 states Friday filed an amicus brief opposing a proposed preliminary injunction that would withdraw or suspend the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the abortion medications Mifepristone and Mifeprex. The case is in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas Amarillo Division.

The brief asserts that the medications are safe and effective. Additionally, the brief claims that the drugs help promote access to abortion in rural and underserved communities. The brief states that withdrawing the FDA’s approval of the drugs risks undermining “the integrity of the FDA-approval process for other drugs.”


The Abortion Pill’s Secret Money Men

The untold story of the private equity investors behind Mifeprex—and their escalating legal battle to cash in post-Dobbs.

Mother Jones, MARCH+APRIL 2023 ISSUE

In 1993, a group of activists rented a warehouse in suburban Westchester County, New York. It was smaller than they’d hoped and had limited ventilation, but the two other locations they’d tried to rent belonged to universities and required jumping through too many bureaucratic hoops—the exact sort of paper trail this group was trying to avoid.

Led by renowned pro-choice activist Lawrence Lader, their goal was to replicate RU-486, the revolutionary abortion pill developed in the 1980s by French manufacturer Roussel-­Uclaf—which was unwilling to navigate American abortion politics to bring the pill stateside.


USA – Danco Moves to Intervene in Lawsuit Challenging FDA Approval of Mifeprex®

Danco Laboratories

NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Danco Laboratories (Danco) filed a motion to intervene in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, a lawsuit in which several anti-abortion organizations and four individual physicians asked a federal court to immediately suspend FDA's approval of Mifeprex®.  If the judge grants the plaintiffs' request, it may block the availability of Mifeprex® for medication abortion nationwide as early as mid-February. Prescribers across the United States may not be able to prescribe Mifeprex® to their patients, because the drug could not be sold or shipped to certified healthcare providers. The plaintiffs filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, on November 18, 2022.

At a time when people across the country are already struggling to obtain abortion care services, this lawsuit aims to compound and limit access to abortion even further through a blatant attempt to completely deny people access to medication abortion care in the U.S.  The lawsuit is also a direct challenge to the FDA approval process for all pharmaceutical products.  Danco joins this action to ensure that the FDA approval of Mifeprex® remains in force and people continue to have access to this safe and effective medication. 


USA – FDA says it will greenlight pharmacies to fill prescriptions for abortion pill

Pharmacies would have to become certified and a prescription is still needed.

By Anne Flaherty
January 3, 2023

The abortion pill mifepristone is safe enough that retail pharmacies can begin dispensing it so long as a certified health care provider prescribes the drug and if that pharmacy meets certain requirements, according to new rules published Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

If pharmacies jump on board, the FDA action could dramatically expand access to the drug in states where it's already legal. Doctors, for example, might be more willing to get certified to prescribe the drug because they would no longer have to stock it themselves and could write a prescription much as they would any other medication.


Can Michiganders obtain abortion pills in Canada? Governor seeks clarification.

Jul. 07, 2022
By Danielle Salisbury

Furthering her efforts to secure comprehensive reproductive health care for Michiganders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking for clarity on the rights of residents to cross the U.S. border to obtain care or prescription medication, including abortion pills.

Current rules on importing drugs, including those that may be used for medication abortion, are complex and not well-understood by the public, Whitmer wrote in a letter to the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

USA – These Start-Ups Could Make Abortion One Click Away

During the pandemic, women have been able to get abortion pills to take at home through an email or phone call. Will it stay that way?

Emily Shugerman, Gender Reporter
Updated May. 16, 2021

In California right now, you can get an abortion without speaking to a single other human being. You log onto a website——put in your health information, answer some questions, and wait for an email from a clinician letting you know if you’ve been approved. If you are, an online pharmacy will ship you a package of mifepristone and misoprostol—a two-pill regime that is safer than many prescription drugs and 98 percent effective at terminating early-stage pregnancies. You will take it, you will bleed, your pregnancy will—in all likelihood—end.

This particular configuration is available in only one state, for a limited time, due to an emergency declaration issued by the Food and Drug Administration during the pandemic. But make no mistake: This is the future abortion advocates want.


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.


Telemedicine Abortions Are Safe — So Why Are They Still So Hard To Get?

OCTOBER 20, 2020

Katie realized she was pregnant during the first week of April 2020. She decided pretty quickly that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. She already had two kids, and she’d just been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The condition was still uncontrolled, which made her pregnancy high-risk. But it was just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. She was in full lockdown, and she wasn’t sure if she could get an abortion.

"I was Googling abortions," she tells Refinery29. "My biggest thing was not wanting to actually go to a place." Besides being afraid of catching the virus, the nearest clinic to Katie was six hours away from her home in New Mexico, and she wasn’t sure how she’d find the time to get there.