Abortion Pill Access

The abortion pill is safe and easy—and it could give American women unprecedented reproductive autonomy. Its political opponents have spent over a decade ensuring this doesn't happen - Gabby Bess

Abortion Pill Access
Abortion Pill Access

image by: Rep. Jimmy Gomez

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The Abortion Pill was Supposed to Revolutionize Abortion Access. What Happened?

Mifepristone was supposed to give women more control over their bodies, their families, and their health by expanding their choices and privacy. It was seen as the holy grail that would thwart abortion foes, who, as always, had been working hard to overturn Roe v. Wade and complicate abortion access: "With RU-486," as the pill was known at the time, "termination of early pregnancy will be done medically, not surgically, under conditions that will make it largely impossible to stop," a Chicago Tribune article from 1992 professed. Some advocates had hoped the abortion pill would be available directly through pharmacies and eventually over-the-counter, like Plan B.

Clearly, this hasn't…

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 The Abortion Pill was Supposed to Revolutionize Abortion Access. What Happened?

The history of the abortion pill is fraught from the start. In 1980, a French pharmaceutical company, Roussel-Uclaf, developed the medication abortion drug, which works by blocking the effects of progesterone, a hormone essential to maintaining pregnancy.


Mifepristone is a synthetic steroid. It is a medication most commonly used for medically induced abortions. Mifepristone can also be used in the management and treatment of Cushing's syndrome and uterine leiomyomas. At low doses, mifepristone blocks progesterone by competitively binding its intracellular receptor.

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