US: FDA Allows Abortion Pill Sales at Retail Pharmacies

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The Facts

  • On Tuesday night, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a regulatory change to allow retail pharmacies to dispense abortion pills in US states where medical termination of pregnancy is legal.

  • Previously, the drug "mifepristone" — the first pill used in the two-drug regimen for medication abortions — could be dispensed only by a handful of mail-order pharmacies or by specially certified doctors and healthcare facilities.

The Spin

Right narrative

This move endangers women with its dishonesty over the risks of abortion pills, which have led to at least 3k women suffering complications and 28 deaths since their approval, and provides no protection to unborn children who may survive. The Biden administration's pro-abortion extremism will further allow retail pharmacies to funnel abortion pills into states where abortion is banned — an act that undercuts the Supreme Court's verdict.

Left narrative

The benefits of mifepristone far outweigh the risks, and this decision could change the conversation about abortion. As a step in the right direction for health equity, the regulatory change will empower patients across a broad spectrum, including people of color, immigrants, rural populations, and teenagers. Access to abortion pills isn't a magic solution to the end of abortion rights, but it can blunt the fallout.

Cynical narrative

While the move paves a way to ensure women's legal access to abortion isn't entirely shut off, the question remains — can US states block the use of abortion pills even though they are FDA approved? The ball is in the retail pharmacies' court, which will now have to weigh whether or not to offer the drug following federal and state laws given the political controversy surrounding abortion.

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