September 28th is International Safe Abortion Day – it’s also the 19th anniversary of the FDA’s approval of mifepristone here in the U.S. Mifepristone, in combination with misoprostol pills, has the potential to transform abortion, making it safe and accessible worldwide.
Mifepristone’s accessibility varies from country to country. In places where abortion is illegal, people are able to purchase these abortion pills online. In Canada, the pills are easily available in pharmacies, while in the U.S., it’s harder to obtain the medication. That’s because the FDA has classified mifepristone as a dangerous drug, which requires clinicians to register with the drug manufacturer if they want to provide the medication to patients. Currently, it is impossible for a patient to receive a prescription for mifepristone. While this may not seem like a big deal, federal and state laws make it extremely difficult for many health facilities to stock and dispense mifepristone. To make matters worse, the Trump administration’s new rules for Title X fully prohibit health facilities that receive federal funds for contraceptive care to provide medication abortion. The only way a practice can dispense mifepristone is in a standalone facility, physically apart from their family planning clinic.
The Reproductive Health Access Project has been working to raise awareness about how the FDA’s overregulation of mifepristone has made it harder to access safe abortion. We believe that mifepristone should be available by prescription at pharmacies, in physical and online locations.
On September 28th you can join us on social media and participate in the Safe Abortion Global Day of Action. Follow us on Facebook @reproductiveaccess and Twitter @RHAP1. Send us a message about why it’s important that abortion remain safe and easy to access!