During Coronavirus Crisis, Elizabeth Warren Focuses on Availability of Abortion Drugs

[Lifesite News] The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the British and Irish governments to loosen regulations around the use of chemical abortion drugs, and now U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and two Democratic colleagues want the Food and Drug Administration to do the same in the United States.

In Britain and Ireland, women wanting to end their pregnancies can now forgo visits to a doctor or abortion clinic but have a consultation over the phone before the mifepristone and misoprostol pills are mailed to them.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) – the “leading provider of abortion services in the UK” – and Marie Stopes UK are among those offering the “telemedicine” service.

“We’re really proud to be able to offer this to our clients to help them access abortion care at a time of great uncertainty,” tweeted BPAS.

Mifepristone, a synthetic steroid also known as RU-486, is taken orally, followed 24-48 hours later by misoprostol, taken orally or vaginally. Together, the drugs are reported to be more than 98 percent effective in destroying an unborn child up to two months after conception.

British authorities have given the go-ahead for home use up until 10 weeks’ gestation.

“Abortion care is an essential part of health care for women: services must be maintained even where non-urgent or elective services are suspended,” the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in recent guidance on “abortion care” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Abortion is time-sensitive, and attention should be paid to providing care as early as possible given gestational limits,” it said.

Warren, joined by Sens. Patty Murray, D-Washington, and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, made a similar point in a letter Tuesday to FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn.

“People who need an abortion cannot delay care and should not needlessly risk coronavirus exposure,” they wrote. “Given the years of scientific evidence indicating that medication abortion is a safe and effective treatment, we ask that FDA take immediate steps to temporarily exercise enforcement discretion on in-person dispensing requirements so that people can more easily access abortion care without putting themselves or their healthcare providers at risk of infection from COVID-19.”

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[Editor’s Note: This article was first published at Lifesite News, title changed by P&P]


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