College of Pharmacy
In this section
HelixTalk #168 - Beyond the Controversy: Exploring Efficacy and Safety of Medication Abortion
Date posted: July 18, 2023, 6:00 am
There has been a lot of news about abortion (abortifacient) medications recently. Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in 2022, individual states passed their own laws restricting access to abortion, this includes access to abortion medications. This clearly impacts the way pharmacists practice. In this episode, we summarize the science behind the two main abortive drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, and provide a picture of how the access to these medications stand in the United States.
- Among other modalities to terminate pregnancies, medication abortion is a safe and alternative option that is picking up popularity given recent changes post-Dobbs vs. Jackson WHO decision.
- The FDA-approved use of combination mifepristone and misoprostol regimen to terminate pregnancy up to 70 days (10 weeks of gestation) is based on strong evidence for its efficacy and safety.
- Since the overturning of Roe vs. Wade in 2022, states have taken their own action to further restrict or increase access to abortion services including access to medication abortion.
- These legal changes further impact dispensing of mifepristone and misoprostol by pharmacists across the country adding to more confusion. Legal councils, state boards of pharmacies, or state pharmacy associations may serve as suitable resources to consult regarding these fast-changing laws.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Practice Bulletins—Gynecology, Society of Family Planning. Medication Abortion Up to 70 Days of Gestation: ACOG Practice Bulletin, Number 225. Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Oct;136(4):e31-e47. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004082. PMID: 32804884.
- Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/the-availability-and-use-of-medication-abortion
- Guttmacher Institute. https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws