A group of independent pharmacies in states across the country have begun distributing the abortion drug mifepristonean thanks to newly implemented regulations by the Biden administration earlier this year.
The news was first reported by politics, comes after President Joe Biden in January issued new regulations allowing retail pharmacies to dispense mifepristone. Mifepristone, along with another drug, misoprostol, is approved for use through 10 weeks of pregnancy and is used in more than half of all abortions nationwide.
The move is one of several actions the Biden administration has taken to maintain and expand abortion access in the post-fish eggs era, under the light of strengthen Republican-led bans on the procedure.
Not surprisingly, Biden’s efforts have come under attack from Republican state officials, who have tried to limit women’s access to the drug and discourage pharmacies from seeking evidence. receive for drug distribution.
Currently there are only 19 public pharmacies confirmed they are distributing the drugs, although others may be providing them more quietly, amid fears of retaliation from anti-abortion groups, many people previous commitment this year to protest, boycott and organize pressure campaigns targeting pharmacies that have chosen to distribute the drug.
While thousands of branches of major pharmacies are also expected to begin distributing mifepristone in the coming months, several companies said they wouldn’t drug distribution in states where Republican attorneys general have threatened legal action or in states where there are discrepancies between the legality of abortion and the ability of individual pharmacists to dispense the drug.
Many states are led by Republicans banned or placed on the side of the road Same with mifepristone. And even in states with legal protections for abortion, many individual pharmacies and pharmacists refuse to dispense medicine based on personal beliefs, or fear of disapproval.
In Iowa, abortion is currently legal legal until 22 weeks of pregnancy after a state district court temporarily blocked a ban on abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. Iowa law requires patients to wait 24 hours and receive a fetal ultrasound before having an abortion. Medical abortion is legal but the patient must prescriptions by a doctor and have an in-person appointment with the doctor to receive The first two-dose regimen.
Access to the drug nationwide is also at risk due to a lawsuit from anti-abortion activists seeking to revoke the FDA’s approval of the drug and severely limit its use.
In April, U.S. District Judge and Trump appointee Matthew Kacsmaryk issued a ruling in the case and ordered its complete retention of federal approval of mifepristone, surpassing decades of scientific approval precedents and hundreds of studies document the safety of medications in abortion care.
In response, the federal appeals court partially blocked Kacsmaryks’ decision maintains the availability of mifepristone but limits access in ways that could harm patients seeking abortion care. In effect, the appeals court ruling allowed the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone to remain in place, but temporarily overturned regulatory changes made since 2016 that sought to expand access.
The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, and although pressure from pro-choice advocates and President Biden himself, the Court, which begins its new term this week, has not yet announced whether it will hear the case, Hippocratic Medical Alliance v. U.S. Food and Drug Administrationbefore the term ends in June 2024.
More than 600 state Democratic lawmakers from 49 states signed an amicus brief to the Court urging the justices to maintain access to mifepristone and strike it down entirely. Kacsmaryks decision.
In Iowa, Senators Herman Quirmbach, Molly Donahue, Claire Celsi, Liz Bennett and Representative Megan Srinivas have all signed the summary.
Whether or not the Supreme Court hears the case, access to health care in the United States will be changed.
In August, Planned Parenthood announced that the availability of mifepristone is essential to ensuring everyone can access abortion services.
Pregnant people should be the ones making decisions about their own health care, and health professionals should be the ones making evidence-based decisions about the safety of drugs, not judgment, Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. The Supreme Court should reject this clearly baseless and political effort to interfere with our ability to receive health care.
If mifepristone is withdrawn from the market, doctors will be forced to prescribe only misoprostol, the second drug in a two-drug regimen prescribed to end pregnancy, which has a lower effectiveness rate than when prescribed alone.
Legal experts also warn that the case could overturn decades of precedent and could set the stage for political groups to overturn other FDA approvals of controversial drugs and vaccines. argue.
The Biden administration has said it supports the FDA’s nearly two-decade approval of mifepristone and is focused on ensuring access.
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