Reprotection commends a Florida health agency for warning practitioners that, despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent rule change regarding mifepristone, providers must still comply with the state’s laws governing abortions.

On January 11, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration released a statement citing two state-level statutes that continue to prohibit retail pharmacies from dispensing mifepristone to women. 

One statute declares that “[n]o termination of pregnancy shall be performed at any time except by a [licensed] physician.” The other proclaims, “[i]t is unlawful for any person to perform or assist in performing an abortion on a person, except in an emergency care situation, other than in a validly licensed hospital or abortion clinic or a physician’s office.” 

The agency promised to refer “any evidence of criminal activity” to local law enforcement, stating that “willfully violating these provisions could result in criminal penalties.” 

We cannot emphasize the importance of holding the abortion industry accountable through existing laws enough, especially after the FDA’s announcement on January 3. 

Earlier this month, the FDA revealed that it had modified the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) for mifepristone, allowing certified pharmacies to dispense the drug. Before the recent announcement, the FDA had previously removed the in-person requirement for mifepristone in December 2021. 

While CVS and Walgreens have announced their intentions to dispense the abortion pill, both pharmacy chains have made it clear they are bound to state-level laws. This means areas of the country, such as Florida, that have prohibitions on chemical abortions can take a stand and prevent the expansion of abortion at the local level. 

And with the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade this summer restoring regulatory authority over abortion to the states, more of them must take action to stop the abortion industry from implementing its dangerous practices into legitimate fields of healthcare.

According to a 24-page report by the American College of Pediatricians, “Induced abortions, whether chemical or surgical, can have serious complications that include hemorrhage, infection, and incomplete abortion.”

“These complications may be increased when women self-administer chemical abortion drugs without [the] benefit of an in-person evaluation by a health care provider,” the report warns. 

We’re grateful that a regulatory body in Florida appears willing to enforce the law, and we will continue to help monitor the situation on the ground to ensure the abortion industry does not find ways to elude justice.