Reprotection is appalled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is gambling with women’s lives by allowing retail pharmacies to dispense the abortion pill mifepristone.

As of January 3, the FDA will no longer enforce a rule requiring women to obtain the first drug in the chemical abortion pill regimen at a clinic or a hospital. The agency has been reviewing the Mifepristone REMS Program since 2021, and it concluded that “available data and information” support the modification. 

Under the new regulation, certified retail pharmacies can dispense the pill, and women can even obtain a prescription for it through a telehealth appointment and have the drug delivered by mail. 

The FDA permanently lifted the in-person requirements for mifepristone in December 2021, but the changes it made on January 3 mean that the agency has officially removed the requirement from its rule book for mifepristone.

Danco Laboratories, an abortion pill manufacturer, released a statement proclaiming it is “pleased” with the change. The manufacturer claimed that chemical abortion access is “critically important” nowadays and that the updated regulations will “provide healthcare providers with an additional method for providing their patients with a safe and effective option for ending early pregnancy.”

But Reprotection knows all too well that the abortion pill is anything but “safe.” 

Mifepristone works by blocking the natural hormone progesterone, starving the unborn child of the nutrients that it needs to survive. Women then take a second pill called misoprostol to expel the baby from the womb. 

In addition to causing the death of an unborn child, the drug can be dangerous for women, as a 2009 study found that chemical abortions have four times the complication rate of surgical abortions. Another study conducted in 2015 found that the complication rate was 5.2% for women who took the abortion pill compared to 1.3% for women who had a first-trimester surgical abortion.

By not requiring women to meet with a provider beforehand, there is also a chance that complications such as an ectopic pregnancy or RH compatibility may go undetected, increasing the dangers already associated with taking the drug. 

Ironically, an FDA spokesperson expressed these same concerns in October when discussing how some providers are prescribing the pill to non-pregnant women so they can have it on hand for future use.

Contrary to the abortion industry’s claims that chemical abortions have few risks, there is actually no federal requirement for states to report abortion-related complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by its own admission, only collects such data on a voluntary basis, and the other source of abortion complication data, the Guttmacher Institute, has ties to Planned Parenthood. 

As researchers from the Charlotte Lozier Institute reported in a peer-reviewed longitudinal study, the rate of emergency room visits after a chemical abortion increased by over 500% from 2002 through 2015. In 2015, the study also found that 60.9% of chemical abortion pill-related emergency room visits were miscoded as miscarriages. 

There needs to be proper reporting and accountability for chemical abortion pill complications. Despite the expanded access to the abortion pill, Reprotection will remain as vigilant as ever in ensuring the abortion industry doesn’t get away with putting profit over the lives of women and unborn children.