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July 13, 2021

Medication abortion, or "the abortion pill," is an incredibly safe method of abortion that can be used up to about the first 11 weeks of pregnancy. Many people prefer this method to an in-clinic abortion due to the lower cost and the ability to manage the pregnancy termination to a large extent at home, on their own terms  - but there's plenty of stigma and confusion around it (like the fact that "the abortion pill" is actually a regimen of two different meds, taken as 5 pills total). Worse, there are medically unnecessary restrictions on the provision of medication abortion, passed by ideologues rather than by doctors. Chief among them is an FDA requirement that has historically dictated that the first pill in the two-part regimen be taken in a doctor's office - even though there is no scientific basis to this requirement. Restrictions like this do nothing to make abortion safer, but go a long way towards making abortion harder to get for many people.

Today on the podcast we welcome back previous guest Aisha Chaudhri of Everthrive Illinois to discuss all things "MedAb:" what it is, how it works, why someone might prefer this method, what the restrictions are, how COVID has led to temporary loosening on some of these restrictions, and how we can advocate for the permanent removal of these medically unnecessary restrictions on what is a very safe, routine procedure.

Resources:

  • National Women’s Health Network has been working to permanently remove the REMS: https://nwhn.org/permanently-lift-restrictions-on-the-abortion-pill/
  • Up-to-date info on abortion laws and restrictions in your state: https://www.onlineabortionresources.org/covid-19
  • As of April 23, Tennessee has reinstated a 48 hour waiting period, necessitating two separate trips to a clinic for an abortion.
  • Recent bans signed in Texas, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Arizona are NOT in effect.
  • Abortion is LEGAL in all 50 states & Washington, DC until at least 20 weeks (calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period). No state-level bans or “heartbeat” bills are in effect at this time.
  • Other online abortion resources: https://www.plancpills.org/ and https://aidaccess.org/
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