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Tipsheet

FDA Approves Pharmacies to Distribute Abortion Pills, As GOP Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Ban Them

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced retail pharmacies to distribute abortion pills for the first time. 

According to the FDA’s website, two pills, misoprostol and mifepristone, when combined, cause a medical abortion that is safe for women to take. It can induce a miscarriage up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. 

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“Mifepristone, when used together with another medicine called misoprostol, is used to end a pregnancy through ten weeks gestation,” the website reads. 

In December 2021, the FDA said it would begin to make these changes which include, permanently removing restrictions on mail-order shipping and women being able to obtain a prescription through Telehealth. 

Before Covid-19, women were only able to be prescribed the abortion pill by a certified healthcare provider. 

The pill blocks the hormone progesterone, a naturally-produced hormone that prepares the lining of the uterus for a fertilized egg. The pill will then induce bleeding once the pill softens the uterus and breaks it down. 

The FDA warns that “serious and sometimes fatal infections and bleeding occur very rarely following spontaneous, surgical, and medical abortions, including following Mifeprex use.”

It also has a 97 percent effectiveness rate with a three percent chance that the pill fails and women will have to undergo surgical intervention for “ongoing pregnancy, heavy bleeding” or “incomplete expulsion.” 

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Texas lawmakers, however, are already cracking down on the use of abortion pills by introducing a bill that would “require internet providers to block abortion pill websites in the same way they can censor child [sexual abuse material].” 

Pro-life advocates have already filed lawsuits that could potentially ban blue states from medical providers from providing abortion pills. 

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