Posted on July 5, 2023
What You Need to Know About the Latest Attack on Abortion Care: the Mifepristone Abortion Pill
Note from the CREDO team: This July, Planned Parenthood Action Fund is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO community will help PPAF fight to restore and advance abortion access wherever possible while laying the foundation to reclaim and expand reproductive rights for all
Read this important blog post which was originally published on the PPAF website about the recent attacks on medication abortion, then click here to visit CREDODonations.com to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to this organization and our other amazing grantees this July.
UPDATE: Access to mifepristone — a safe, effective pill for medication abortion — remains safe for now. The Supreme Court has issued a stay that protects access to mifepristone.
This is good news — but FDA-approved mifepristone should never have been at risk in the first place, and it’s not over yet.
In an yet another attack on abortion care, in early April 2023 a federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of anti-abortion organizations suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The lawsuit challenges the FDA’s approval of mifepristone — also known as mife, one of two medications used in medication abortions. The court’s ruling means that mife could become unavailable to people who need abortions.
Although this decision came from a federal court in Texas, it doesn’t just apply to patients in Texas — it could apply to people in every state in the nation.
If the ruling stands, it will affect access to mifepristone across the country — but it will not end medication abortions. In states where abortion is legal, medication abortions will remain a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy.
The supportive, expert staff at Planned Parenthood health centers are dedicated to providing the education and health care patients need, including abortion. Contact your nearest Planned Parenthood health center to learn more and book an appointment or a virtual visit.
What this lawsuit is really about
This case is about controlling the medical decisions of women, trans people, and nonbinary people. Not satisfied with ending the federal right to an abortion in June 2022, a group of anti-abortion activists and organizations asked the federal court in Texas to order the FDA to end its 22-year approval of mife. The judge ruled in their favor — threatening access to mifepristone across the nation.
This case is not about safety.
- Medication abortion is safer than other common medicines like penicillin, Tylenol, and Viagra.
- Medication abortion has a strong safety record — serious complications happen in less than ⅓ of 1% of cases, whether a patient gets their abortion pills in person, at a doctor’s office, or remotely through a virtual visit.
- In 2021, more than half of all documented abortions were medication abortions.
Medication abortions are safe and are still available where abortion is legal, even if the case succeeds.
Lots of people refer to medication abortions as the abortion pill, although medication abortion in the U.S. most commonly involves taking two pills: mifepristone and misoprostol. Both medications are safe and effective and have been used for decades by millions of people to end early pregnancies. Because of the court’s decision, mifepristone may be taken off the market. But misoprostol is — and will be — available as an option to end an early pregnancy.
Misoprostol by itself is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy. Reach out to your local Planned Parenthood to talk about your options and what kind of care is best for you.
- Get fast facts on misoprostol-only medication abortion at plannedparenthood.org.
Medication abortions without mifepristone are common around the world.
In the U.S. most people have relied on a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol for medication abortions. But for decades, all around the world, many people have used just misoprostol to safely end early pregnancies when mifepristone isn’t available.
Misoprostol works on its own to empty your uterus.
A few facts about misoprostol:
Misoprostol is, on its own, a safe way to end an early pregnancy.
- Respected medical organizations like The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Ipas, and the World Health Organization agree that misoprostol-only abortions are a safe alternative.
- Using misoprostol pills to have an abortion is legal in states where abortion is legal.
- Misoprostol has been around for more than 30 years. Besides abortion, misoprostol has other medical uses — like miscarriage management and preventing and treating ulcers.
Planned Parenthood health centers are here for you.
Planned Parenthood health care professionals will do everything we can to make sure you can get abortion care, where it’s legal. Contact your local Planned Parenthood health center to learn more about your options.