Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, a lot of women have struggled to get the right care of them. In fact, according to National Partnership for Women & Families, nearly three million Latinas living in states with bans on abortion are economically insecure.
Women with low incomes are especially impacted by state bans as they are more likely to lack access to the necessary funds to travel to another state for abortion care. As a result, women face the risk of living in graver poverty when they are denied abortion care.
But that may be changing soon.
The United States will allow retail pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, to offer abortion or contraceptive pills.
This past Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), made a regulatory change in its website to make this possible. It is important to note that pharmacies have to obtain proper certification to participate. This is, of course, dependent on the state they are operating from.
What are the approved abortion pills?
Two pills are approved so far: mifepristone and misoprostol.
Mifepristone, which, according to the New York Times, blocks a hormone necessary for pregnancy development. As per the FDA, this pill is to be taken within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. However, some healthcare providers are prescribing it up to 12 to 13 weeks into pregnancy, which is still within the legal parameters. Historically, access to mifepristone has been more difficult. This medicine is currently approved to treat some miscarriages.
Misoprostol, the second drug under this change, on the other hand, has always been more accessible since it is used for many different medical conditions, such as stomach ulcers, medical management of miscarriage, induction of labor, cervical ripening before surgical procedures, and the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. The pill causes contractions. For the purpose of ending a pregnancy, misoprostol is taken 24 to 48 hours after mifepristone.
What about the states with stricter bans?
In a legal opinion released by the Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, the Justice Department is allowing the U.S. Postal Service to deliver abortion drugs to states with stricter abortion laws.
“We conclude that [the statute] does not prohibit the mailing, or the delivery or receipt by mail, of mifepristone or misoprostol where the sender lacks the intent that the recipient of the drugs will use them unlawfully,” OLC chief, Christopher Schroeder, wrote in the legal opinion published on Tuesday.
Though the legal opinion has offered some legal assurances, it is not a complete guarantee of legal immunity.
What is the public saying?
People have lots to say since this announcement.
Naturally, there are many different viewpoints. Some people are in support.
This falls far short of solving everything, but it is still damn good news for people who need to access #abortion care. The regulatory change impacts access in stores AND by mail. It’s a big deal. https://t.co/rEyYrRySfN
— Jesse Mermell (@jessemermell) January 4, 2023
While others aren’t in the least bit supportive.
Abortion pills can be sold in pharmacies?! Ya know what, im just done. DONE!
— Emily Gregory (@EmilyGr35372676) January 4, 2023
How are Latinas impacted by this regulatory change?
Research conducted by the National Library of Medicine stated that economic security is threatened when mothers can’t access abortion care. Thus, negatively impacting the development of their existing children.
Latinas already face less access to basic health care, including, contraception. So, this change may help alleviate the threats currently in place.