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Medication abortions rose in year after Dobbs decision, report finds

By 37ci3 Mar19,2024

Medication abortions have increased in the year since the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wadeaccording to a report released Tuesday by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion access.

First full calendar year since 2023 2022 Judgment in Dobbs v. JacksonAccording to the report, there were 492,210 medical abortions in 2020, or 53% of the total, to 642,700, which is about 63% of all abortions in the country.

“This increase is indicative of the fact that people are overcoming barriers to get the care they need,” said Amy Friedrich-Karnik, director of federal policy at the Guttmacher Institute. “Abortion is health care.”

After the Dobbs decision, 14 states have completely banned abortion, which includes medical abortion. Another handful of states require patients to see doctors in person before they can get prescriptions for drugs needed for medical abortions or ban the drugs from being mailed.

Medical abortions became available in the United States in 2000 when the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, one of the drugs used in the regimen, for use in early abortions. The second drug, misoprostol, is taken a day or two later.

As of 2020, medical abortion is the most common method of ending early pregnancies in the United States, according to the Guttmacher report.

And it’s just one time again on the court cutting block.

Next week, The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a position to decide whether mifepristone will be readily available.

The numbers in the Guttmacher report are calculated only for people who had medical abortions through the US health care system, such as through in-person visits with health care providers. People can get pills outside of the health care system, such as through community networks or by mail order through online pharmacies.

Dr. Michael Belmonte of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said many of his patients prefer medical abortion because it provides them with a level of privacy.

“I’m not surprised to see medical abortion continue to play an increasing role,” he said.

Even as the Supreme Court case looms, drugs appear to be more available. Earlier this month CVS and Walgreens announced they will distribute mifepristone.

The report also looked at abortions in general, and found that there were an estimated 1,026,690 abortions last year – either by medication or surgery – a 10% increase from 2020 and the first time since 2012 that the number of abortions exceeded 1 million.

The number of abortions last year increased by 25% compared to 2020 in states without full abortion bans.

However, the sharpest increases have been in states with outright bans, such as Texas and New Mexico, which borders Oklahoma; and Illinois, bordered by Missouri and Kentucky.

Other states, such as South Carolina, have seen large increases in out-of-state abortions because they are close to states with complete abortion bans, including many states in the South. (For most of 2023, South Carolina allowed abortions up to 20 weeks. A law banning abortions after six weeks entered into force in May but it happened after a few days it was blocked; was was restored in August.)

Friedrich-Karnik said nearly 1 in 5 travel to other states to get abortion care. “All of these things affect the type of care they can get,” he said.

Arthur Kaplan, head of the division of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, said he expected the number of medical abortions to increase last year even without the FDA challenging the approval of mifepristone. According to the Guttmacher report, medication abortions have been on the rise since their approval in 2000.

“Nothing surprises me about this shift,” Kaplan said of Guttmacher’s findings. “Using a pharmaceutical agent is less painful and less expensive than surgery.”

The Supreme Court’s decision to limit access to mifepristone will have far-reaching consequences for women, he said.

This is “absolutely complete nonsense,” he said. “If the court were to accept this, it would clearly put an end to the abortion pill across the country, which would immediately lead to a huge black market.”

Former board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, an OB-GYN and reproductive rights advocacy group in New Jersey Christine Brandi says medication abortions are often the only option for marginalized communities, including people with disabilities. travel Unless the Supreme Court makes them less available, the drugs will become more common, he said.

“This will affect the vast majority of abortion seekers,” he said.

Belmonte said he is worried about his patients.

“Each patient should be able to choose which option is suitable for abortion without prohibitions, restrictions and burdens,” he said.

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By 37ci3

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