Abortion Pills Over the Counter?
There’s no good argument against it!
You know things are changing when one of the country’s most respected daily newspapers says abortion pills should be as easy to get as pain relievers or allergy medicine. That’s exactly what the Boston Globe’s editorial board did on May 15 when it called for making abortion pills available over the counter.
The Globe editorial noted that abortion pills are now used for more than half of all abortions in the US. It also mentioned that decades of research have already proven that mifepristone and misoprostol are safe and effective. It also referred to the growing body of evidence that most people are perfectly capable of using them safely on their own, without oversight from a medical professional.
As the Globe points out, making abortion pills available over the counter would dramatically expand safe abortion access. People in more restrictive areas could drive over state lines to buy them, or ask friends or family members in more abortion-friendly states to grab some and drop them in the mail. It would also eliminate the cost of a clinic visit, which would make the pills much more affordable for everyone.
Of course, given how long it took to make emergency contraception available without a prescription, we probably won’t see abortion pills on the shelf at the supermarket or drug store in the near future. But abortion pills are safe, non-addictive, and have no risk of overdose, which means they meet many of the FDA’s criteria for over-the-counter sales. In fact, they’re safer than Tylenol! So as long as people have accurate information about how to use them properly and access to resources that can answer their questions, there’s no good reason why they shouldn’t be available right next to the antacids and sunscreen.