Safety concerns during the pandemic have led to a number of suspensions of rules when it comes to the acquisition of drugs. For a certain time, women were able to secure abortion pills via mail. However, the US Supreme Court recently decided against it and reverted to the old rule that women must make an in-person visit to obtain an abortion pill.
The justices of the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, ordered that women could only obtain the abortion pill mifepristone if they would visit doctor's offices. The rule which required such visits to the doctor's office was earlier suspended by U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang due to the pandemic.
Chuang affirmed the suspension in December, which was originally ordered by a federal judge early on in the pandemic. The suit was filed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved mifepristone in a combination with another drug, misoprostol. The drugs were meant to manage a miscarriage or to end an early pregnancy. When the suit was filed by ACOG, which aimed to relax the requirement of in-person visits to secure the abortive drugs, it paved the way for women to secure them without making such visits. However, with the current decision of the Supreme Court, there was a reversion to the old rule of getting the pills personally from clinics.
In October last year, the Supreme Court started allowing women to get their pills via mail, reported U.S. News and World Reports. There was no substantive ruling issued on the matter at the time.
The recent decision reinstating the restrictions on the abortion pill was made with six justices in favour and with three liberal justices dissenting, The Guardian reported.
The Trump administration has been very strict when it comes to abortion pills. It has relaxed the rules on opioids and other drugs but remained steadfast when it comes to abortion pills.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are still on the rise. The country already has more than 376,000 deaths from more than 22 million COVID-19 infections.