Abortion Drug pic

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced earlier this week that it is removing its requirement for mifepristone to be administered in the presence of a certified health care provider (HCP). Mifepristone, which is the first of two drugs used in the RU-486 chemical abortion regimen, can now be dispensed directly by certified pharmacies.

This change will significantly increase the availability of chemical abortion drugs and put women at increased risk of complications related to at-home abortions.

How Mifepristone Works

Mifepristone is typically administered up to ten weeks gestation and blocks progesterone from the mother, depriving the baby of the nutrients it needs to grow and survive. This effectively starves the baby to death. The second drug, misoprostol, is taken up to 48 hours later and causes the uterus to contract in order to expel the dead baby.

FDA Requirements

While mifepristone is advertised as safe and effective, it is not without serious possible side effects. Even the mild side effects include abdominal pain, fever, anemia, and vomiting, and the more severe side effects can lead to death. The drug is listed with an important warning outlining the potential for life-threatening bleeding and infections, emphasizing the risks involved with taking this drug.

Because of the severity of these side-effects, the FDA includes it in the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) program. The requirements of this program vary depending on the drug, but generally include safeguards that help ensure that patients take the proper dosage and are fully aware of the risks and the symptoms that require immediate medical attention. Under these requirements, mifepristone could previously only be dispensed in certain health care settings by a HCP who was certified under the Mifepristone REMS Program.

The idea to drop this requirement was introduced in 2021, after the requirement was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. The FDA made the change official this week. As a result, pharmacies are now able to dispense mifepristone with a prescription, allowing women to take the drug outside of the supervision of a medical professional. In addition to increasing the accessibility of abortions, this also leaves women more vulnerable. This abortion regimen can be devastating to a woman’s health, especially if she is not fully aware of what to look for in the side-effects.

Many women have also testified about the traumatic mental and emotional effects of essentially delivering a dead baby at home.

In Alaska

In Alaska, although pharmacists are not currently protected against having to participate in administering the abortion cocktail, only physicians can “perform” abortions and they must be licensed in the state. Although this is a somewhat gray area legally, some states, such as North Carolina, require mifepristone to be administered in-person by a physician, which is even more protective than the former REMS requirement of a certified Health Care Professional.

Alaska Family Action will be working with the Dunleavy Administration, allied legislators and legal experts in-state and nationally to determine how this recent FDA decision impacts our ability to protect unborn Alaskans and women in the Great Land.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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FDA’s broad approval of chemical abortion drug puts Alaska mothers, unborn babies at risk

Jim Minnery
A lifelong Alaskan, Jim Minnery has served as the executive director of Alaska Family Council since its inception in 2006.


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Murder is murder. In today’s world there is no need to get pregnant if you don’t want to. Figure it out ladies. When was your last minstrel cycle? Count the days. Are you ovulating? DONT HAVE SEX. It’s that simple. everyone will live without sex for a few days till it’s safe again. better yet don’t have sex till your married. Abstinence is ok. It used to be the only way. Maybe it’s time to go back to it. That way there is no need for you to become a MURDERER and you can live without that on your mind the rest of your life!

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Look at the things that have been banned or tighter regulations on them over the past 10 or so years . I cannot imagine being able to buy, or get my handout from the gov, drugs that are going to create a hostile environment in a woman’s body to make it reject and expel a fetus. Just amazing the things that the government is prioritizing these days. Genocide anyone?

  • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

    Women have been terminating unwanted pregnancies for as long as there have been women. It’s not that difficult to do, they assist one another, and for most of human history it really hasn’t been that big of an issue. Then the Trump appointees to the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, all their pretensions about “precedent” and “settled law” notwithstanding. Suddenly women in red states found themselves losing a significant measure of their self-determination in ways that men have no frame of reference for. Even for women who would personally never consider getting an abortion, the overturning of Roe v. Wade made them nervous, and this was reflected in the midterm elections last year.

    For women of means, if they can’t get an abortion in the state in which they live, they will simply TRAVEL, and of course there will be mifepristone pills available by mail. Cracking down on this will be next to impossible. The biggest effect the overturning of Roe v. Wade will have is on poorer women who can’t afford another mouth to feed, and we’ll simply expand the welfare rolls to accommodate all those kids.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Perhaps people should start thinking about abstinence or using birth control? There are a variety of birth control measures have been successfully used that do not include aborting a fetus.

      • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

        Is the onus on just women? Do men have any responsibility here?

      • American Truth says:

        Why should you cars what two consenting adults donin private? Party of ‘small government’ indeed. HA

      • Sam says:

        Ooh do tell. What’s an effective birth control that is safe for women? Here is a hint of the ones not safe or effective. Pill, iud, implant, the shot, the ring, and the oldie but goodie double fail the condom. All of these pose significant health risks to women and their reproduction.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      What do you think Chuck? If it takes two to procreate, maybe both can act responsibly? !

  • Jen says:

    The mamas, papas, and grandparents don’t realize what they are missing, yet. But
    One-day they understand.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Off topic sort of: “5G, Vertigo, Marburg, Vaccines, next outbreak.”

  • Theresa says:

    The danger to women’s health is real: I know three women who were given these drugs by their doctors to complete miscarriage. After going home, all three women ended up in the ER due to massive hemorrhaging.

  • Mayo says:

    You’d think forcing a woman to take a pill – regardless of purpose – only in the presence of a doc would be opposed by the conservatives that never let readers forget how much they value freedom and personal liberty.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Taking this pill without being in the presence of a physician may very well be as effective as using a coat hanger. Are women going to know how their body is going to respond to this pill? No matter what the reason for a woman getting pregnant, I would wish for every woman to be safe and get immediate medical help if they have a adverse reaction to the pill.

  • John J Otness says:

    if it murders the conceived its gotta be super healthy for the momma…. science..

  • Mayo says:

    Actuality Otness, what you did there is the opposite of science.

  • Dean says:

    From my previous post: Please don’t post. In retrospect I think I would rather use the power of prayer and divine intervention to heal these issues!
    Thanks in advance!

  • John short rifle says:

    If a woman can go after a man who got her pregnant in order to get him to aid her financially in raising the baby, why doesn’t a man have a say in whether the baby lives or is aborted?