Lawmakers should chase science on abortion drug

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 10:19 AM

Medication abortions create up about a quarter of all abortions, and in most states, the new guidelines will have tiny impact on doctors. They already chase the best science by using the pill off-label – a common and valid practice, given that science frequently advances faster than the FDA.

Lawmakers should chase science on abortion drug

Latest week, the , the drug used in medication abortions, to reflect the latest scientific proof and reduce potential side effects.

Medication abortions create up about a quarter of all abortions, and in most states, the new guidelines will have small impact on doctors. They already chase the best science by using the pill off-label – a common and valid practice, given that science frequently advances faster than the FDA.

However, six anti-abortion Republican legislatures, including those in OH and Texas, have prohibited off-label utilize of mifepristone. The new FDA guidelines will bring immediate relief to women seeking abortions in these states, though lawmakers will number doubt discover new and creative ways to restrict abortion. One state, Arizona, has already passed legislation, presently awaiting the governor’s signature, to require doctors to chase the FDA guidelines from 2000.

This issue underscores the willingness of anti-abortion legislators to force doctors to utilize outdated, harmful and unscientific methods. They may influence the U. S. Supreme Court, which is considering a challenge to abortion restrictions in Texas. Legislators claim that those restrictions defend women’s health, but they're actually a blatant attempt to breach women’s constitutional rights. Recently, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s swing voter on abortion, expressed concern about women’s access to medication abortions in Texas.

The new guidelines propose that medication abortions be provided through the ninth week of pregnancy rather than the seventh week, in two office visits rather than three and at lower dosages to reduce side effects. They also propose that nurse practitioners and midwives, not just physicians, can allow medication abortions. Now, thirty-seven states require that physicians carry out these abortions, but women’s health advocates and the World Health Organization consent that other providers are qualified to do so.

State regulation of medication abortion is portion of a three-decade strategy of the anti-abortion movement, feigning concern for women’s health to create burdens and barriers to women’s constitutional right to abortion. Anti-abortion activists have made discredited claims that abortion causes breast cancer and psychiatric disorders, and Republican lawmakers have required doctors to notify their patients of these imaginary risks.

Most recently, Republican legislatures, using a template provided by Americans United for Life, have enacted a slew of abortion clinic regulations, such as making them chase costly and unnecessary rules that apply to surgical centers. Many clinics would've to create expensive renovations, and they'd have to get admitting privileges from local hospitals that frequently refuse to allow them. As a result, many clinics are closing. Since two thousand ten, the no of abortion clinics in TX has gone from thirty-six to ten. For many women, particularly destitute women who cannot afford to miss work and travel hundreds of miles, this puts abortion out of reach.

As the Supreme Ct rules on the constitutionality of the TX facility restrictions, it'll hopefully chase the FDA’s example and chase the science. It'll recognize that anti-abortion restrictions that supposedly defend women’s health actually damage it.

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