Health Law

Founder of online abortion-pill service says she won't turn anyone away, despite FDA warning

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abortion pills

A Dutch doctor who founded an online abortion-pill service called AID Access is striking a defiant tone after the Food and Drug Administration sent her a warning letter telling her to “immediately cease” introducing the drugs into the United States.

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Aid Access, said in a statement that the FDA is “violating the rights of all U.S. women seeking safe abortion by preventing them from accessing necessary medications,” Rewire News reports.

When women “seeking to terminate their pregnancies prior to nine weeks consult me, I will not turn them away,” Gomperts said.

Gomperts founded Aid Access in April 2018 to offer prescriptions for mifepristone and misoprostol to U.S. women who want to end their pregnancies before nine weeks. The women must participate in an online consultation, and the prescriptions are filled at an independent pharmacy, according to previous coverage in the ABA Journal.

The cost is $95, but Gomperts said she’s willing to offer the drugs for free or at a reduced price if women can’t pay.

The FDA sent the letter in March to Gomperts and to another online provider called Rablon, according to Rewire News and CNN.

The letter said the FDA-approved prescription mifepristone drug is marketed under the brand name Mifeprex, and it carries a label warning of the risk of serious or even life-threatening effects. Aid Access is not using the approved mifepristone, the letter said.

In addition, the letter said, Mifeprex is only available in the United States through certain health care settings that are certified in a risk mitigation program. The certified prescribers must be able to accurately assess the duration of the pregnancy, to diagnose ectopic pregnancy and to provide surgical intervention when there are complications, according to the letter.

Gomperts previously has said FDA restrictions on abortion medications are “based on politics, not science.”

Gomperts commented as several states are considering or passing laws to restrict abortions. On Wednesday, Alabama’s governor signed into law a ban on abortions at every stage of pregnancy, except when the life of the mother is at risk.

Six states have only one abortion clinic left. They are Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia.

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