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Many women uncertain about legality of abortion pill

Author(s): By Dave Gilmartin

Half of women are unsure whether abortion pills are still legal in their state, according to  a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted last month.

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade six months ago, 13 states have instituted full bans on abortions, including medication abortions with mifepristone. About half of adults in those states were unsure whether medication abortions were legal there and half of all women across the country were uncertain about the legality of abortion pills where they live.

Even in states where abortions were legal, fewer than half the respondents knew medication abortion was available.

Confusion over emergency contraception

The debate in states post-Roe has also apparently created confusion about the availability of emergency contraceptive pills, which remain legal in all 50 states. A third of adults surveyed, however, said they did’t know if the so-called Plan B pills were still available in their state. The confusion is worse in states that have banned abortion, where half the residents, as well as half of women surveyed, did not know Plan B pills remained legal.

“Since the overturning of Roe, medication abortion has been the focus of policy debates at the state and federal level, yet there is widespread confusion on whether medication abortion is legal or illegal in states,” KFF wrote in its report on the survey, which was conducted last month among 1,234 adults.

FDA expands access to abortion pill

Early last month the FDA agreed to allow certified retail pharmacies to dispense abortion pills and permanently removed any restrictions on telehealth visits to prescribe the drug or mail-order fulfillment of the prescription, requirements which were loosened during the pandemic.

Kaiser’s survey, however, found that most (73%) people had heard nothing about those changes. In fact, 60 percent of those surveyed either incorrectly believed a prescription was not necessary to get abortion pills or were uncertain.

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