Mar 15, 2023
Fast Company

Walgreens is pulling back on the abortion pill; these startups and nonprofits aren’t backing down

Hearings are scheduled to start today in a closely watched case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, which will determine whether women across the United States will continue to have access to the medication-abortion drug mifepristone.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone in 2000, and currently deems it safe and effective for terminating a pregnancy within 10 weeks from the first day of one’s last menstrual period. In 2016, the agency approved the drug for use in combination with another widely used drug, misoprostol, which has become the standard “Plan C” protocol. The drug regimen terminates pregnancies successfully 99.6% of the time, with a 0.4% risk of major complications, and an associated mortality rate of less than 0.001%.

In 2020, medication abortion accounted for 54% of all reported abortions in the U.S., according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion access. That number has been increasing since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this past summer.

But the plaintiffs in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA are now challenging the FDA’s approval of mifepristone