How will the abortion pill be regulated in a post-Roe country? Four big questions about the looming legal battles.
By RACHEL REBOUCHÉ, DAVID S. COHEN and GREER DONLEY
After the disclosure of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in the Supreme Court’s abortion case, there has been a flurry of commentary about the return to pre-Roe times. Much of that coverage has focused on the expenses and legal intricacies of abortion travel, bottlenecks at clinics in abortion-supportive states and the likelihood of criminal prosecution in anti-abortion states.
These are valid concerns if Roe is overturned, after which about half the states would make abortion illegal. But in one major respect, abortion has changed dramatically since 1973 when Roe was decided: the uptake of medication abortion, the two-drug regimen (mifepristone followed by misoprostol) that ends a pregnancy through ten weeks with pills. In 2020, medication abortion accounted for 54 percent of all abortions.