FDA Approves Retail Pharmacies to Offer Abortion Pills

This week, the Food and Drug Administration revealed its decision to allow retail pharmacies—which includes mom-and-pop drug stores as well as major chains like Walgreens and CVS—to sell the two-prong abortion pills, mifepristone (which blocks the principal hormone for pregnancy, progesterone) and misoprostol (a pill taken 24 to 48 hours after the former to expel the pregnancy). Patients will still need a prescription and pharmacies will have to opt in to carry the drugs, but the move will make it easier for people to access abortion as previously only certain mail-order pharmacies and specified clinics were legally allowed to provide them. Because the combined pills cause what is essentially a heavy period, they mitigate the risk of heavy bleeding and have even been used to treat miscarriages. “By allowing brick-and-mortar pharmacies to dispense medication abortion care, the FDA is treating medication abortion like the safe, effective, time-sensitive care that it is,” Kirsten Moore, the director of the Expanding Medication Abortion Access project, tells The New York Times, where you can learn more about the first-of-its-kind decision.

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