Will The Supreme Court Allow Easier Abortion Pill Access To Continue Amid The Pandemic?
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 political issue?
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?
- Angela Hill, national investigative journalist with the Scripps Washington Bureau
- Dr. Dan Grossman, MD, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California - San Francisco; past chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women
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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, September 16.