Controversy surrounds abortion pill access

April 5, 2016

Soon after FDA expanded access to the “abortion pill” or mifepristone (Mifeprex, Danco Laboratories), some states may be combating the decision.

Soon after FDA expanded access to the “abortion pill” or mifepristone (Mifeprex, Danco Laboratories), some states may be combating the decision.

FDA recently expanded Mifeprex, in a regimen with misoprostol, to end a pregnancy through 70 days gestation instead of 49 days. FDA also reduced the dosage, which will make the medication less expensive.

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However, on March, 31, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that requires abortion clinics to use mifepristone before a woman is 7 weeks pregnant and it must be taken at a higher dosage.

“I will always stand with those advocating life,” Ducey said in a signing letter for the bill. However, he added, “I recognize that given the unexpected actions by the FDA, some changes may need to be made in a later bill, and I stand ready to consider those changes when they reach my desk.”

Several other states, including Ohio, Texas, and North Dakota, previously passed laws that require doctors to prescribe the higher dosage initially recommended by FDA.

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FDA’s expansion of the use of mifepristone has caused the abortion debate to heat up across the country.

“It [FDA’s expanded access] is expanding the customer base for the abortion industry," Randall O'Bannon, director of education and research for the National Right to Life organization, told NBC News.

However, Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, an organization of abortion providers, said FDA “has finally caught up to the evidence-based practice in the United States," Reuters reported.

Mifepristone has been used by more than 2.75 million women in the United States since it was approved in 2000, according to Danco.

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