What a difference a couple of days and a new President makes!
On Sunday, I read this:
Some GOP-led states target abortions done through medication
Background: in the year 2000, the FDA approved the “abortion pill,” the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol, thus enabling medication abortion.
20+ years later, about 40% of all abortions in the U.S. are now done through medication — and, wow, are the Forced Birthers pissed! That widespread use is diminishing the control over women that the Forced Birthers crave!
Abortion rights advocates say the pandemic has demonstrated the value of medical care provided virtually, including the privacy and convenience of abortions taking place in a woman’s home, instead of a clinic. Abortion opponents, worried the method will become increasingly prevalent, are pushing legislation in several Republican-led states to restrict it and in some cases, ban providers from prescribing abortion medication via telemedicine.
Ohio enacted a ban this year, proposing felony charges for doctors who violate it. The law was set to take effect next week, but a judge has temporarily blocked it in response to a Planned Parenthood lawsuit.
In Montana, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte is expected to sign a ban on telemedicine abortions…
However, on Tuesday (today), I read this:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Women seeking an abortion pill will not be required to visit a doctor’s office or clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. health officials said Tuesday in the latest reversal in an ongoing legal battle over the medication.
Last year, the FDA waived in-person requirements for virtually all medications, including tightly controlled drugs such as methadone. But the FDA and its parent health agency argued the rules were necessary to ensure the pills were used safely. The rule required patients to pick up the single tablet of mifepristone at a hospital, clinic or medical office and sign a form that includes information about the medication’s potential risks. (Note: requiring this during the pandemic is life threatening and another vivid illustration of how hypocritical the label “pro-life” is.)
The obstetricians and gynecologists group sued to overturn the rule, setting off a series of conflicting court decisions. Most recently, in January, the Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration to reinstate the longstanding rule on getting the drug in person. The obstetricians group said in a statement Tuesday the FDA’s about-face on the requirement shows “it is arbitrary and does nothing to bolster the safety of an already-safe medicine.”
The FDA policy only applies during the COVID-19 health emergency. The obstetricians and gynecologists group and several other medical organizations are pushing to make medication abortion permanently available via online prescribing and mail-order pharmacies.
Astoundingly, it turns out that there is one good thing to come from the pandemic. The battle will be continued …