More than half of recent abortions in the United States were performed using the abortion pill, according to preliminary data released Thursday, a sign that medical abortions are becoming increasingly accessible. and is most popular for termination of pregnancy.
The report, issued by the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that advocates for abortion rights, found that by 2020, medical abortions – the two-pill method – is allowed in the United States for pregnancies up to 10 weeks of age – accounting for 54% of all abortions. The number represents a significant increase compared with the institute’s previous report, showing that the method accounts for 39% of abortions in 2017.
The increase in medical abortions is most likely the result of a number of factors. This method – less expensive and less invasive than surgical abortion – has been becoming more popular before the coronavirus pandemic, partly because restrictions from conservative countries hinder surgical methods, especially later in pregnancy.
As of 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which collects data by contacting every known abortion provider in the country, nearly a third of clinics only offer medical abortions. In 2019, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionExcluding California, Maryland and New Hampshire, the pill accounts for 42 percent of all abortions — and 54 percent of early abortions qualify for the pill because they happen before 10 weeks of pregnancy.
The pandemic has accelerated that trend, as medical groups filed a lawsuit asking the federal government to lift a requirement by the Food and Drug Administration that the first abortion pill, mifepristone, be dispensed directly to the patient at the clinic or doctor’s office. Citing years of data showing medical abortions are safe, health groups say patients are at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus if they have to go to clinics to get mifepristone, and point out that mifepristone is the drug. only FDA required patient. visit directly from a healthcare provider, but patients are also allowed to self-medicate at home without the provider’s presence.
ONE The judge accepted the request that summer, allowing patients to visit doctors telemedicine and receive medications by mail, but, following a challenge by the Trump administration, The Supreme Court has reinstated the restriction early last year.
However, under Biden’s administration, the FDA Direct request has been permanently lifted in December and also said that pharmacies could start dispensing mifepristone if they meet certain standards. The FDA action means medical abortions will become more common for women who find it difficult to go to an abortion provider or prefer the privacy of being able to terminate a pregnancy at home. their.
Thus, while the new report from the Guttmacher Institute is preliminary – reflecting only information from 75% of clinics and including only percentages, not raw data – the medical abortion rates are estimated is expected to increase further.
Nearly 80% of all abortions in the CDC’s 2019 data occurred before 10 weeks of pregnancy, suggesting that more women could choose the abortion pill over the in-clinic procedure if they could. .
At the same time, the growing interest in medical abortion has made it at the center of a highly polarized abortion debate.
Abortion Status in the United States
In 19 states, mainly in the South and Midwest, telemedicine for medical abortions is banned, and as of 2022, as reported by the Guttmacher Institute, 16 state legislatures have introduced bills to ban or restrict medical abortion.
With the Supreme Court currently considering Can abortion be revoked? or even overturning the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, experts and advocates on all sides expect medical abortion to play an even more important role. in the divisive abortion debate.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/health/abortion-pills-us.html Abortion pills now account for more than half of all abortions in the US