WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is warning that some states may try to restrict access to government-approved abortion pills and birth control following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning Roe vs. Wade last month.
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“Those who want to ban all abortions, their next moves are going to be medical abortion and crossing the state line,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this week. “So we wanted to clear that up…and make sure we got ahead of that if you want, because we’re seeing what we’re seeing across the states with the ban, the abortion ban, for the next round of attacks.”
The US Department of Justice has said states cannot ban FDA-approved abortion drugs and states could face legal action if they do so anyway.
The FDA first approved abortion drugs in 2000.
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Mifeprex and Mifepristone are FDA-approved medications for terminating pregnancy for up to 10 weeks through medication.
In a June 24, 2022 statement, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “We stand ready to work with other branches of the federal government that seek to use their legitimate powers to protect and preserve access to reproductive care. In particular, the FDA has approved the use of the drug mifepristone. States cannot ban mifepristone due to disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment on its safety and effectiveness. »
During the pandemic, the federal government changed the rules to allow abortion pills to be prescribed via telemedicine and mailed to the patient.
But there are still many restrictions at the state level.
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According to Guttmacher Institutea research and policy organization that supports abortion rights, 19 states have banned the use of telemedicine to prescribe abortion pills.
The organization also says that 32 states require doctors to administer abortion pills, even though the FDA also allows other health care providers, such as a nurse practitioner, to administer abortion pills.
Some states are already taking preventive measures to avoid legal problems.
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For example, abortion clinics in Montana will no longer offer abortion pills to certain out-of-state patients to avoid lawsuits and criminal charges.
Abortion bans or severe restrictions have already or will come into force in more than half of the American states.
“We are going to save a number of thousands of lives of unborn children because of the actions that have been taken,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican.
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