Updated: Jun 15
Until 2020, most abortions were provided at stand-alone clinics, under medical supervision. But chemical abortions now make up more than half of the reported abortions in the United States, and abortion advocates are trying to ensure that abortion pills flow freely into every community, including in states where abortion is illegal.
The most common chemical abortion regimen is a series of two drugs approved by the FDA in 2000 for use up to seven weeks of pregnancy. The first pill, mifepristone, counteracts the mother’s progesterone, the naturally occurring pregnancy hormone that ensures the baby receives oxygen and nutrients. Twenty-four to 48 hours later, the mother ingests misoprostol, the second half of the regimen, which causes uterine cramping and bleeding to expel the baby.
In 2016, the FDA extended its approval for chemical abortions up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, allowed non-physicians to prescribe the drugs, and eliminated reporting requirements for any complications short of maternal death. In 2021, taking advantage of COVID shutdowns, the FDA announced that it would allow abortionists to send abortion drugs by mail.
In November 2022, four medical associations and four pro-life doctors sued the FDA over its 2000 approval of mifepristone. These plaintiffs proved to the trial court that the FDA illegally rushed the drug to approval without completing mandatory studies and by wrongfully characterizing pregnancy as a “serious or life-threatening illness.” However, an emergency appeal of the judge’s ruling to the Supreme Court leaves the FDA’s loosened rules in place for the next few months at least.
Meanwhile, seventeen pro-abortion attorneys general are suing the FDA and alleging that mifepristone is “safer than Tylenol” and demanding that the FDA’s “burdensome” restrictions on the drug be lifted because they cause harm to potential abortion patients.
In preparation for a scenario in which mifepristone loses FDA approval and becomes unavailable, the abortion lobby is promoting chemical abortions with only misoprostol, the second half of the current abortion regimen. Misoprostol is cheaper and easier to obtain than mifepristone. However, the experience of women in developing countries indicates that misoprostol-only abortions take longer, are more painful, and are more frequently incomplete than mifepristone-misoprostol abortions, which is why they have not been common in the U.S.
Nonetheless, Governor Gavin Newson has announced that he has stockpiled millions of doses of misoprostol to “safeguard” women’s health.
In January, the FDA removed yet more abortion pill safety protocols, ending the requirement for an in-person visit with a physician and allowing the mifepristone-misoprostol series to be sold at pharmacies. Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid announced that they are going into the abortion business.
What you can do:
• Boycott Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid. Shop elsewhere and switch your prescriptions to another chain or independent pharmacy.
• Call or write to Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid and let them know that you are boycotting until they cut ties with the abortion industry.
• Spread the word. Tell your friends and neighbors. Print fliers to distribute or post at your church to alert people to pharmacy abortions. You can also leave fliers on the customers’ cars outside the Walgreens, CVS, or Rite Aid in your neighborhood.
You can download fliers from our website to print and distribute here.
Important: It is possible to interrupt the effects of mifepristone, the first abortion pill, if the mother does not take the second dose of the abortion pill regimen and instead takes supplemental progesterone within 72 hours. If someone has taken the first abortion pill and is having second thoughts, she should call 1-877-558-0333 right away or visit abortionpillreversal.com.