Judge frees abortion pill from doctor visits (for now). A federal court ruled Monday that women seeking abortion pills during the COVID-19 pandemic should not have to visit a doctor in order to obtain them.
Under current rules set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), non-surgical abortion— i.e., the kind that's induced by pharmaceuticals, not physicians—still requires patients to visit a hospital, doctor's office, or medical clinic to be prescribed the abortion drugs, even though a patient will go through the process at home.
"A medical or medication abortion uses two drugs to terminate a pregnancy," explains a new report, "Prescription Denied: Accessing the Abortion Pill," from Newsy. The first of these pills, mifepristone, "blocks a hormone to induce the abortion. The second drug, misoprostol, completes it by expelling the pregnancy. But mifepristone, which for medication abortion goes by the brand name Mifeprex, is among the most restricted drugs in the U.S. which makes it challenging to get. … the Food and Drug Administration imposes tighter restrictions on Mifeprex than on opioids such as fentanyl."