The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday permanently loosen restrictions on abortion pills by removing the long-standing requirement that the medication must be picked up in person. The change now allows patients to receive the medication by mail.
After a scientific review, the U.S. Health Regulators supported broadening access and allowing more pharmacies, which include mail-order services, to distribute the medication. All dispensing pharmacies will need to be registered with the FDA.
Limits do remain in place on prescribing the drug. Only doctors who complete special certification will be allowed to write the prescriptions for patients. Women will still be required to sign a form indicating they understand the medication’s risks.
Medication abortion has been available in the United States since 2000, when the FDA first approved medication abortion in 2000. Taken with a hormone blocker called misoprostol, the so-called abortion pill can terminate pregnancies up to 10 weeks.
It is estimated that approximately 40% of all abortions in the U.S. are now done through medication, rather than surgery.