In the United States, drug abortions account for about 40% of all abortions. The increasingly common method relies on pills rather than surgery, and abortions can take place in women’s homes rather than in clinics. This is an important option during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of them also limit access to drug abortion, as Republican states typically move to limit access to abortion.
Healthcare providers say drug abortion is safe and necessary, especially as access to Republican-controlled state clinics becomes more difficult.
How does drug abortion work?
In the United States, drug-induced abortion has been available since 2000, when the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of mifepristone.
Drug abortion involves taking mifepristone, waiting 24-48 hours, and then taking misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, an essential hormone for maintaining pregnancy. Misoprostol causes cramping and bleeding and causes the uterus to empty.
The drug is approved by the FDA until the 10th week of pregnancy.
This method is considered very effective and safe by medical professionals, with pregnancy ending in more than 95% of cases and serious complications in 0.4% of cases.
According to the FDA, 3.7 million women used drug abortions between 2000 and 2018. During that period, 24 women died after taking mifepristone.
The popularity of this method is continuously increasing. The Guttmacher Institute, a research institute that supports abortion rights, estimates that it accounts for about 40% of all abortions in the United States and 60% of abortions that occur by the 10th week of pregnancy.
why is it important?
Abortion advocates say the pandemic has demonstrated the real value of medical care provided, including the privacy and convenience of abortion in women’s homes rather than in clinics.
Beyond its appeal: In some states where Republicans have passed strict laws restricting access, there are few clinics. There is only one abortion clinic in Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia.
Abortion providers say drug abortion could allow women to have an abortion without facing the burden of travel as access to a clinic becomes more difficult. This can be especially difficult and costly for low-income women.
What is the state doing to limit it?
Opponents of abortion worry that drug abortion is becoming more prevalent and are pushing for legislation to limit access to drugs in Republican-led states.
The state has taken several steps to limit its availability. These include banning the combination of abortion drugs, shortening the 10-week period allowed for the method, and requiring women to take medications at a clinic rather than at home.
Critics have not backed the science, saying some states even require women undergoing drug-induced abortions to tell doctors that the procedure can be reversed prematurely. Claims.
In 33 states, only doctors are allowed to prescribe abortion drugs. Senior Physicians are available in 17 states and the District of Columbia.
The physician providing the drug must be physically present when administered in 19 states. This means that abortion patients cannot take medicine at home.
Republican governors in Arkansas, Arizona, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas have this year signed legislation banning the mailing of abortion drugs. Such legislation was mainly seen as a response to the growing popularity of telemedicine during the pandemic.
The law tackles legal issues in Montana and Oklahoma. In Ohio, judges temporarily blocked a law banning the use of telemedicine for abortion drugs during a legal challenge.
Some Republican parliaments also set limits on when they can perform abortions with drugs during pregnancy. In Indiana and Montana, a law passed this year banned dosing after 10 weeks of pregnancy, and in Texas, a newly signed law banned dosing after 7 weeks.
The Texas law is expected to go into effect in December. It passed just as Texas began banning nearly all abortions under a comprehensive law known as Senate Bill 8, which became the nation’s largest ban for abortion in half a century.
Is it possible to reverse a drug miscarriage?
In eight states, counseling is needed to promote the idea that high doses of progesterone can reverse a miscarriage, after taking mifepristone. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not support the prescription of progesterone for its use, stating that the inverse claim is not based on scientific evidence.
Such laws are in force in Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia. Proceedings in Indiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have blocked enforcement of these advisory requirements. In Montana, the law is expected to go into effect on October 1, but it has been challenged in court.
What are the federal rules?
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration eased restrictions on abortion drugs under a federal court order and made them available for mail.
However, the FDA and its parent health agency later argued that under the Trump administration, regulations were needed to ensure that the pills were used safely. This rule requires patients to receive a pill of mifepristone at a hospital, clinic, or clinic and to sign a form containing information about the drug’s potential risk.
The Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has launched a series of conflicting court rulings and filed proceedings to overturn the rules.
Last April, the FDA reaffirmed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, women taking abortion drugs are not required to go to the clinic. The policy changes only apply to states that do not have laws that restrict the use of telemedicine or require the presence of a doctor while taking the drug.
The FDA policy will remain in force as long as the COVID-19 health emergency continues. Some medical institutions are promoting the permanent availability of drug-induced abortions through online prescription and mail-order pharmacies.
What are women’s preferences?
Ad Access is one of several online initiatives that propose mailing women’s abortion drugs. It is led by Dr. Rebecca Gompert, a Dutch doctor.
The FDA, then under Trump’s administration, sent a letter to Ad Access more than two years ago, asking Ed Access to cease its activities, but online drug providers continued to send abortion drugs to US patients. Huh.
The legality of the practice is unclear, but groups such as Plan C, which aims to raise awareness about self-managed abortion, provide information on where and how medicines are available online.
Such access for women is available in places that face ongoing attacks on abortion clinics by protesters against abortion, making it difficult for lawmakers and governors to keep clinics open. This is particularly important.
The reproductive rights legal support group, If/When/How, has tracked 24 cases since 2000 when a woman was accused of self-administered abortion.
Sarah Ainsworth, the group’s policy chief, said, “A person can be the subject of an investigation, arrest or prosecution, even if no actual law is illegal.”
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