By Carrie N. Baker
The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming many aspects of our lives, and
abortion is no exception. Telemedicine is expanding access to abortion health
care in ways that are likely to persist long after the pandemic is over.
Telemedicine abortion combines medication abortion — which uses pills to end a
pregnancy — and telemedicine — which allows health providers to supervise the
use of abortion pills via videoconferencing or telephone consultations.
The path lies not in legislation but through the deregulation of mifepristone—the only drug the FDA has approved to safely and effectively terminate an early pregnancy.
Nov 28, 2020
Joe Biden is now poised to become the next president of the United States. His victory, however, is bittersweet for many Democrats, especially those for whom abortion rights are a top issue. Democrats lost seats in the House of Representatives, and their odds for a Senate majority seem to be dwindling. Just eight days before the election, Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Without a Senate majority and with a hostile Supreme Court, some may wonder whether any progress on abortion rights can be made in the next four years.
Abortion-rights advocates need not accept that all is lost. They simply need to look outside legislation and the courts for their answer.
Medication abortions have are a safe and accessible method of terminating pregnancy, but they have been targeted by onerous FDA restrictions
Sun 1 Nov 2020
With six conservative justices now sitting on the supreme court, the future of abortion access in US looks increasingly uncertain. But in addition to concerns about whether abortion clinics can stay open, activists are warning that lesser-known abortion medications are also under threat.
Medication abortions have been proven to be a safe and effective method of terminating pregnancy, and because they can be completed without doctor supervision, they serve as a crucial alternative for those who have had other abortion services shuttered in their state, or who do not feel safe accessing traditional health services.
Twenty years after medication abortion was approved in the U.S., patients are still jumping through hoops to access it.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
Twenty years ago today, the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, a drug used to terminate early pregnancies that held the promise of revolutionizing abortion care in the U.S.
Colloquially called the abortion pill, mifepristone is taken in combination with another drug, misoprostol, and allows patients under 10 weeks pregnant to have an abortion in the privacy of their home, instead of inside an abortion clinic. Reproductive rights activists lobbying for the drug envisioned a future where women could have the pills prescribed by their primary physician and dispensed at their local pharmacy, transforming abortion into just another part of normal health care.
BY REPS. DIANA DEGETTE (D-COLO.), BARBARA LEE (D-CALIF.), JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D-ILL.) AND AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MASS.), OPINION CONTRIBUTORS
Over the years, there have been numerous challenges in the way the United States has approached reproductive health. We rely on our public health institutions to make decisions using the best data to get the best outcomes. Twenty years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone, the pill for medication abortion with numerous restrictions on who could prescribe the medication, where it could be taken and where it could be dispensed.
Now, 20 years later, medication abortion care has been used by more than 4 million women and has proven to be a safe and effective option to end an early pregnancy. Mifepristone has long had the potential to transform health care access — yet, the same restrictions the FDA first placed on medication abortion needlessly remain in place to this day. This must change.
By: Alyssa Fisher
Aug 23, 2020
Entering her 50th year at Choices Women’s Medical Center, founder Merle Hoffman has witnessed a lot. Imagine launching a reproductive health center providing abortions two years before Roe v. Wade legalized it in 1973.
But it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, she says, that has been “one of the most, most challenging times that we’ve faced, I’ve faced.”
Easy Access to Abortion Pill Vital During Pandemic, FDA Told
June 16, 2020
The FDA should relax restrictions on a medication used for abortion during the pandemic to prevent unnecessary travel, over 100 members of the House said Tuesday in a letter to the agency.
Under the current rules, a person who wants to use mifepristone to help terminate a pregnancy must get it directly from their health-care provider. Mifepristone—which blocks progesterone and stops a pregnancy from advancing—is typically used in combination with a second pill, misoprostol—which causes cramping and bleeding that empties the uterus—when used to terminate a pregnancy. Misoprostol is available at pharmacies with a prescription.
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.
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.
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.