On Tuesday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order banning clinicians from prescribing medication abortions through telemedicine, the latest in a wave of trying to restrict access amid the growing threat to Roe v. Wade.
the Republican governor declared that abortion pills might only be prescribed or dispensed by a licensed doctor in South Dakota after an in-person examination. The order also blocks physicians and manufacturers from via courier, delivery, telemedicine, or mail service.
According to the order, abortion-inducing medications are also no longer allowed to be provided in school or on state grounds. This also directs the South Dakota Department of Health to develop licensing requirements for “pill-only” . The department will also need to on how often medication abortions are performed as a percentage of all abortions and enhance reporting requirements on emergency room complications supposedly related to medication abortions.
Medication abortion, known as the “abortion pill,” has been available in the U.S. since 2000, when the Food and Drug Administration approved using mifepristone for early nonsurgical abortion. Pregnant people typically get a medication abortion by taking a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol ― usually spaced 24 hours apart ― which essentially induces a miscarriage.
Mifepristone is approved for use at up to 10 weeks of gestational age, though it is used safely off-label at later stages. The drug blocks progesterone receptors that are necessary to maintain a pregnancy. Medication abortion is successful 93% to 96% of the time,
The drug is prevalent. Medication abortions increased from 5% of all abortions in 2001 to 39% in 2017, even while the overall number of abortions declined, , a pro-choice research organization. The method allows abortion seekers to terminate their pregnancies homes, provided they are in the early stage of pregnancy.
Contrary to Noem’s order, that medication abortion is very safe. found that people who received medication abortion doses by mail had similar outcomes as those who received an abortion at a physician’s office and reported high satisfaction levels with the service. Telemedicine for medication abortion has been critical in areas where more than 100 miles to access an abortion, making it the safest option for rural and low-income pregnant people.
that pregnant people would be able to get prescribed a medication abortion through telemedicine after President Joe Biden lifted the previous administration’s restrictions on telemedicine abortion ― ― of physically going into a health clinic for a medication abortion.
“The past 20us just a glimpse of the transformative potential of medication abortion. Even before the , medication abortion use was rapidly increasing. In fact, in just the last decade or so, the number of clinician-managed abortions using medication increased 73%,” Guttmacher spokesperson Joerg Dreweke told HuffPost.
“Beyond its exceptionally safe and effective track record, what makes medication abortion so significant is how convenient and private it can be ― and how radically it couldto abortion care if freed from politically motivated restrictions,” Dreweke added. “Of course, that’s exactly why anti-abortion policymakers and activists want to keep it out of the hands of people who want it.”
Courts have declared outright banning the option unconstitutional, like Noem’s order have gone into effect without legal challenges. According to The Guttmacher Institute, South Dakota is one of 19 states prohibiting the use of telemedicine to prescribe medication for abortion, and 32 states require clinicians who administer the abortion pill to be physicians
South Dakota’s order came about a week after That law bans abortions after six weeks ― ― and relies on private citizens to enforce it by giving bounties of up to $10,000 for successfully suing anyone accused of “aiding and abetting” abortion seekers in Texas.
Within a day of the law’s effect, said they wanted to adopt a similar ban. , Mississippi, Indiana, Florida, Arkansas, and South Dakota agreed to follow Texas. Noem’s executive order on Tuesday brings her state one to that reality.
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