About a year ago, the Biden Administration announced a policy change, stating it will allow pharmacies to fill prescriptions for abortion pills. Last week the FDA began implementation by formalizing a process so that retail pharmacies can become certified to stock mifepristone, the first drug in the 2-drug chemical abortion regimen. Mifepristone cuts off progesterone, which is required to sustain a pregnancy. The nation’s two largest pharmacy chains, CVS and Walgreens, announced they will take advantage of this opportunity to become certified to dispense mifepristone.
The FDA approved the abortion pill in 2000 with strong requirements to mitigate its risk to women receiving it. These protections have been weakened over the years, but the stipulation that abortion pills be dispensed by a qualified prescriber at a clinic, hospital, or similar healthcare setting was deemed crucial. Since non-surgical, or chemical, abortions must be done within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, the gestational age of the unborn baby must be accurate. If a woman misdates her pregnancy, she risks infection from fetal tissue left in the uterus. And not seeing a medical professional often rules out a timely diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy, which can be life-threatening.
Despite these dangers, in December 2021, the Biden Administration permanently dropped the in-person requirement. Twenty-nine states still require physicians to administer abortion pills and pharmacies have agreed to comply with these laws.
Will pharmacies warn women that abortion pills are four times as likely to cause complications as surgical abortions? Will they remind the mother that she’ll deal alone with the accompanying hemorrhaging and the sight and disposal of her aborted baby?
Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council warns that pharmacies ought to think twice about taking on the sale of abortion-inducing drugs. He says, “If they go down this path, they become the abortion facilities of America.”
FRC Action has launched a petition to Big Pharma corporations: “Do not turn your pharmacies into abortion businesses.”