Is the Abortion Pill Legal? What Expectant Parents Need to Know
Abortion has been a major topic of debate ever since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. For the first time since 1973, safe abortions are no longer a constitutional right. Many states have banned the termination of pregnancies since this decision. Now, there is another attack on women’s abortion rights: A proposed, national ban of abortion medication.
So, is the abortion pill legal? Yes, it is but Read on, as we break down the latest court rulings (as of May 2023) and discuss your options as an expectant mother.
What Happened First?
In early April 2023, a federal judge in Texas – Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk – made an unprecedented ruling. He suspended the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone. Judge Kacsmaryk claimed that the FDA had improperly approved the drug in 2019, and essentially ordered it to be taken off the market. He gave the FDA a week to seek emergency relief before his ruling would go into effect.
The Biden-Harris administration immediately appealed the ruling and it headed to the Supreme Court for a decision.
What is Mifepristone?
Mifepristone is the first part of the “abortion pill” – a two-pill regimen prescribed to terminate a pregnancy. This medication blocks the body’s production of progesterone, which is a hormone needed for a pregnancy to develop.
The second pill in the regiment is misoprostol. It is typically taken up to 48 hours (about two days) later. This medicine causes cramping and bleeding, allowing the uterus to empty.
Abortion medication is prescribed in the first 10 weeks (about two and a half months) of pregnancy. Doctors prescribe this medication regimen for those seeking an abortion or suffering an early miscarriage.
Why it Matters:
The abortion pill is used for more than half of all pregnancy terminations in the United States as well as miscarriage. More than five million U.S. Americans have used mifepristone. It has also been approved for use in dozens of other countries around the world. It has been considered safe and legal in the U.S. since the FDA approved the brand name Mifeprex nearly 20 years ago. In April 2019, the FDA approved the first generic version: Mifepristone. This approval came after a review showing that medication abortion is a safe and effective way to end early pregnancy. According to Planned Parenthood, the safety record is over 99 percent.
In 2018, the New England Journal of Medicine found that adding mifepristone to the misoprostol medication was more effective for managing an early miscarriage than taking misoprostol alone. They also found it reduced the likelihood of patients needing any additional medical procedures.
Mifepristone is also used to help management of second and third trimester pregnancies when the fetus has died before birth. Therefore, there are multiple uses and benefits of this medication.
The Latest Ruling on Mifepristone
On April 21, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision to maintain the FDA’s approval of mifepristone while an appeal is in progress.
Restrictions regarding the abortion pill were all paused. Oral arguments were expected to go before the appeals court on May 17. However, the appeal process is expected to take at least until 2024. This means that the abortion pill remains available for those who had access to it before.
“As a result of the supreme court’s stay, mifepristone remains available and approved for safe and effective use while we continue this fight in the courts,” Biden said in a statement. “The stakes could not be higher for women across America. I will continue to fight politically driven attacks on women’s health.”
Adoption is Another Option
If you are not yet ready to parent, but you do not wish to have an abortion (or cannot have an abortion, due to your stage of pregnancy), adoption is a positive choice.
We understand and respect that abortion is not an alternative to abortion. You must make the decision that best meets your needs and makes you most comfortable. At Adoptions With Love, we can offer support and guidance, should you choose to make an adoption plan for your child. This is your decision. You are in charge of this pregnancy.
With an open adoption agency, such as Adoptions With Love, you can choose to have an open adoption, a semi-open adoption, or a closed adoption plan. This means you can choose your child’s adoptive family. You can choose to speak with – and meet with them in person – before making your decision, if you wish.
Adoption also means getting the support you need during this difficult time in your life. You can get financial assistance and compassionate counseling. At Adoptions With Love, expectant/birth mothers who choose adoption get the following free services:
- Housing assistance. We can cover a deposit and several months of rent.
- Other living expenses, including utilities, cell phone bills, food, transportation, and maternity clothes, as needed.
- Legal support. We can provide you with an attorney who specializes in adoption in your state, free of charge.
- Counseling services, from compassionate and experienced counselors, before and after the adoption is finalized.
- Medical care. We can cover any uninsured medical expenses related to pregnancy and childbirth and can help you find a doctor or midwife with whom you are comfortable.
- Adoption design support. We can help you navigate every step of the adoption process, from finding an adoptive family to custom-creating a post-adoption agreement that meets your needs.
We Support You
At Adoptions With Love, we believe that all women should have the right to make their own decisions regarding their pregnancy. We support whatever decision an expectant mother makes, and we respect those wishes. We believe all expectant mothers deserve dignity, bodily autonomy, and access to safe and quality healthcare. We also believe you should have access to all information regarding pregnancy choices, so that you can make an informed decision.
As a full-service adoption agency, we can help guide you through the adoption process every step of the way. You can call us 24/7 for support. We can answer your questions and you can turn to us for the information you need, free of obligation.
Call us any time of day, any day of the week. We are here to help. Call us at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online.