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Will The Supreme Court Allow Easier Abortion Pill Access To Continue Amid The Pandemic?

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels CC0: https://bit.ly/3kpGMBD
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels CC0: https://bit.ly/3kpGMBD

Pre-pandemic, patients were required to go in person to get the abortion pill. COVID-19 prompted an easing of that restriction for patients seeking to safely terminate a pregnancy with medication in lieu of surgery.

But now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, backed by the Trump administration, is putting pressure on the nation's highest court to reinstate the in-person requirement. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wants the Supreme Court to continue allowing easier access to mifepristone, which is part of a two-drug regimen used to induce abortion. 

ACOG argues that the in-person requirement violates the Consitution by creating an unnecessary burden for patients seeking abortions. 

What do we know about this pill and controversy surrounding it? Why was the rule that it had to be distributed by a hospital, clinic or medical office put into place? Is this a medical or politicalissue? 

Does the federal government have the authority to restrict access to mifepristone? Does the in-person requirement threaten constitutionally mandated abortion rights? 

What are the potential implications of reinstating this rule in a pandemic? How else have Americans seeking an abortion, medical or otherwise, been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis? 


"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, September 16.

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Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon
Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.