Even before the Supreme Court’s disastrous ruling stripping the constitutional right to abortion, medication abortion (which is sometimes provided via telemedicine) was growing in popularity. Today, medication abortions make up half of all abortions in the United States, up from just 29 percent in 2014.
Yet despite decades of evidence that underscore the safety and efficacy of medication abortion, medication abortions are still subject to onerous restrictions put in place by the FDA, which are both unnecessary and disproportionately hurt Black and low-income women. Although the in-person dispensing requirements have been removed (an important win for telehealth provision), unnecessary barriers remain. As the FDA finalizes its review of those restrictions, the agency should follow the science and remove the barriers to medication abortion care.