Loosening the Restrictions on Mifepristone
Judge rules that it doesn’t require a doctor visit.
In the US, mifepristone is more tightly restricted than opiates. There are more than 20,000 prescription medications people can take without supervision, but mifepristone is the only one they have to get directly from the hospital, clinic, or medical office. In fact, a provider has to keep track of every single tablet they dispense and who they give it to, and they’re often required to watch the patient take it.
But that may not be true for much longer. In a ruling that could make a huge difference for people who want an abortion with pills, a federal judge in Maryland said that there was no reason to force people to visit a doctor's office during a pandemic to take a medication that’s safe for them to take at home.
The judge’s ruling says healthcare providers can mail or deliver mifepristone to patients during the public health emergency – and that blasts a hole right through the FDA’s medically unnecessary restrictions. If it’s safe right now for people to get mifepristone without having to see the doctor in person, won’t it be just as safe when the pandemic is over?
This should also reassure anyone who’s planning a self-managed abortion that mifepristone is safe to get and use on their own – which is a good thing to know if you can’t or don’t want to go to a clinic, because of COVID-19 or any other reason.
You can learn lots more about abortion with pills (and other reproductive health issues!) at AbortionPillInfo.org and on the Euki reproductive health app, now available in English and Spanish for iOS and Android.