FDA-approved abortion pills see rise in demand

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 11:34 AM MST|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 11:35 AM MST
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(CNN) - The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is putting a spotlight on abortion pills.

“Medication abortion has opened up the options for individuals who are in need of abortion care,” Dr. Jen Villavicencio with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said.

Instead of having a surgical procedure, medication abortion is a method to end pregnancy by taking a combination of pills approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The first pill is called mifepristone and the second pill is called misoprostol.

The FDA says both are safe and effective up to 11 weeks after the first day of the last menstrual period.

“It’s extremely safe. It’s safer than Viagra. It’s safer than most of the over-the-counter painkillers, for example,” director of Women on Waves Dr. Rebecca Gomperts said.

Dr. Meera Shah, a family medicine physician and chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, says that getting medication and abortion pills online is safe if the pills are sourced from reputable outlets.

Hey Jane, a telehealth organization that delivers medication abortion pills in some states, says the average patient demand has more than doubled compared to last month following the high court’s ruling.

A similar organization, Aid Access, says demand began growing in May when the Supreme Court draft opinion was leaked.

“We have seen an incredible increase of the request for help. People are really, really scared,” Gomperts said.

Some anti-abortion advocates say the next battle over abortion rights might be over access to these abortion pills.

Some Republican governors are already signaling that they will take action to block access to abortion pills.

“We don’t believe it should be available, because it is a dangerous situation for those individuals,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said.

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