Abortion Pills Become Extremely Sought-after as More States Ban Abortion
By: Sarah Wang
Citizens across the U.S. are rushing to purchase abortion medication after the Supreme Court announced its decision to repeal the right to abortion. So far, 22 states have laws that could possibly be used to restrict abortion, seven of which retain their “pre-Roe” abortion laws and entirely ban abortion.
People often choose medical abortion over surgical abortion due to medical abortion’s flexibility and privacy. People who want to take the pills will consult a medical professional in person, online, or even via the form. After medical consultation, patients can have the pills mailed to their doorstep and proceed to take it in the comfort of their own homes.
Because of the option to have abortion medication mailed to one’s house, it will be significantly more difficult for states that have banned abortion to prevent the sending or receiving of abortion medicine. It’s much more difficult to regulate the mailing of medication or prevent someone from going to another state where abortion is legal than to simply shut down a clinic. However, many states have still managed to ban the use of abortion medicine by banning any sort of pill from being mailed across the state.
Non-profit abortion organization Just the Pill is planning on sending mobile clinics near the borders of states that ban abortion. They will provide medical consultation and will dispense abortion pills, evading the laws preventing the mailing of pills and providing patients easier access to abortion.
Pro-life groups call medication abortion “chemical abortion” as a response to abortion pills’ rise in popularity, calling the safety of it “greatly exaggerated.” These groups believe the newfound popularity of the pills are a threat to public health.
Contrary to this, many medical studies have proven that medicinal abortion is completely safe, including a 2020 study done by the F.D.A. “95 percent of the 1,157 abortions that occurred through the program between May 2016 and September 2020 were completed without requiring any follow-up procedure. Patients made 70 visits to emergency rooms or urgent care centers, with 10 instances of serious complications, the study reported,” states Pam Belluck, New York Times reporter.
Last December, the F.D.A. allowed patients to access abortion pill mifepristone outside of a clinic or from an in-person doctor. “We stand ready to work with other arms of the federal government that seek to use their lawful authorities to protect and preserve access to reproductive care,” says Merrick B. Garland, attorney general. “…the F.D.A. has approved the use of the medication mifepristone. States may not ban mifepristone based on disagreement with the F.D.A.’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy.”
It is currently a mystery how most states will enforce abortion laws concerning abortion medicine, but two cabinet members in the Biden Administration vowed to protect the right to take abortion medicine already approved by the FDA in a reaction to the court ruling. “We stand unwavering in our commitment to ensure every American has access to health care and the ability to make decisions about health care — including the right to safe and legal abortion, such as medication abortion that has been approved by the F.D.A. for over 20 years,” says Xavier Becerra, the secretary of Health and Human Services.