F.D.A. Permanently Lifts Restrictions On Mail-Order Abortions

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The Food and Drug Administration has permanently lifted restrictions on mail-order abortion pills after initially doing so temporarily in light of the pandemic.

When the medicated abortion drug mifepristone was approved for use in 2000, the FDA placed the requirement on its use that patients must obtain the drug in person from a certified provider before taking it at home, The New York Times notes.

The drug works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for the healthy development of an unborn baby in the womb.

It is taken in conjunction with misoprostol, which causes contractions, so the protocol essentially causes a pregnancy miscarriage.

Abortion advocates have long argued that the drug ought to be made available by mail for the sake of low-income and rural patients who wish to induce an abortion at home.

Pro-life advocates, meanwhile, argue that the increased availability of the drug will not only increase abortions, but will place women at risk of complications, such as excessive bleeding.

“The Biden administration today moved to weaken longstanding federal safety regulations against mail-order abortion drugs designed to protect women from serious health risks and potential abuse,” the Susan B. Anthony List said in a statement. “The Biden administration policy allows for dangerous at-home, do-it-yourself abortions without necessary medical oversight.”

The move comes as the Supreme Court has been deliberating on a critical abortion case surrounding limitations on abortions in Mississippi. The case has the potential to weaken or even overturn the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade which effectively legalized abortion in the United States.

Abortion advocates still hope the FDA will further deregulate the abortion drug protocol by lifting requirements that it be prescribed by a certified provider.

“F.D.A. has determined that certain restrictions continue to be necessary to ensure the safe use of the drug,” the spokeswoman said.

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