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State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin has introduced legislation to expand abortion access by allowing pharmacists to dispense abortion medication with the use of non-patient specific prescriptions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently made a regulatory change allowing the abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol to be offered in retail pharmacies. Mifepristone and misoprostol are drugs which can be safely self-administered by a patient at home over a two-day period in order to medically induce an abortion. Mifepristone and misoprostol can be taken up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy, greatly expanding the abortion window for women.
“As states around the nation are tragically banning and limiting access to abortions, New York needs to continue to expand abortion options and ease of access,” Paulin said.
While current state law allows abortion medication to be prescribed by a licensed physician, certified nurse practitioner or properly licensed midwife, Paulin’s legislation would expand access and reduce costs for women by allowing these healthcare professionals to prescribe a non-patient specific regimen of abortion medication to be dispensed by a local pharmacist, eliminating the need for an additional trip to the doctor’s office.
“Allowing pharmacists to dispense this medication will lower costs and help address access disparities for many New Yorkers, especially marginalized populations, who are more likely to live closer to a pharmacy than a physician’s office,” Paulin said.
In 2021, more than half of abortions in the United States were medication abortions, specifically using the two-drug regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol. The FDA has found that medication abortion is safe and effective, with a 0.4 percent risk of major complications and an associated mortality rate of less than 0.001 percent. The medication comes with no risk of overdose or addiction.
Not only has this two-drug combination been proved safe and effective to induce abortions up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy, but doctors often prescribe this same regimen for early pregnancy loss, as it helps expel a miscarriage.
The proposed legislation serves to ensure affordable access to abortion medication by including amendments to State insurance law. The amendments would require that insurance policies cover abortion medication, removing cost as a barrier to women’s access to this type of safe and effective reproductive healthcare.
“By expanding an individual’s access to this medication, and amending insurance law to cover its cost, we are helping women receive the care they need when they need it most,” Paulin said.
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/