Dozens of providers in the Red States are prescribing abortion pills

To be overturned in the wake of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. calf, which has sparked abortion bans in more than 13 states, abortion rights advocacy group Plan C says it has seen a surge in the number of family doctors asking how they can start offering medical abortions to patients in their respective states. Some may choose to do so across state lines.

“The interest has been overwhelming,” said Christie Pitney, a board-certified midwife who is coordinating Plan C’s efforts to increase the number of clinicians offering telemedicine abortions by walking them through the various steps required to do so. According to Pitney, who herself began telemedical abortions in 2021 through her private practice, Forward Midwifery, Plan C has received 20 requests for help since May, when Politico released a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion. More than 100 other clinicians have come forward since Friday, she said, including dozens from states that have already banned abortion or will do so in the next few weeks.

Medical termination of pregnancy is performed using a two-drug regimen consisting of mifepristone and misoprostol, access to which is strictly restricted by the Food and Drug Administration. When it was approved in 2000, mifepristone was regulated under what is known as a “risk assessment and mitigation strategy” or REMS, which is usually reserved for drugs associated with a serious risk of adverse events. Although mifepristone is safer than Tylenol, the FDA requires it to be dispensed only in clinics, doctor’s offices, and hospitals; only for patients who have signed an FDA-approved patient agreement; and only by or under the supervision of a provider certified to prescribe the drug.

Abortion rights advocates have long argued that there is no medical justification for using REMS on mifepristone, whose safety is well established, and that the decision to do so was politically motivated. In April of last year, the FDA suspended enforcement of the requirement that mifepristone be dispensed in a medical clinic for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, the FDA lifted the in-person requirement entirely.

However, it retained the requirement that vendors register with either Danco Laboratories or GenBioPro, the only FDA-approved manufacturers of mifepristone, and that requirement still applies today.

Doctors, midwives, nurses, and medical assistants can order and prescribe mifepristone. When a request comes in, Pitney connects the provider to one of several telemedicine startups — groups like Hey Jane, Choix, Just the Pill, or Abortion on Demand — that ship abortion drugs to patients via telemedicine after a consultation. For those interested in starting their own telemedicine practice, Pitney provides information on how to register with GenBioPro and directs providers to an online “toolkit” published by a physician-led team from the University of Washington’s Department of Family Medicine becomes. The document is a step-by-step guide to registering and prescribing mifepristone and misoprostol and is regularly updated with new clinical protocols and regulations.

“Separating abortion from universal primary care has made it an easy target for those who want to ban abortion,” said Dr. Emily Godfrey, associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UW, who leads the Access, Delivered initiative. a partnership between Plan C and UW aimed at creating new channels of access to abortion in the United States

“As primary care physicians and other clinicians work to protect the health and well-being of patients, the U.S. public may come to realize that first-trimester abortion belongs with other reproductive health services in primary care, rather than just standalone and independent abortion clinics.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/dozens-of-providers-in-red-states-move-to-prescribe-abortion-pills?source=articles&via=rss Dozens of providers in the Red States are prescribing abortion pills

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