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Health & Fitness Doctors sue to block FDA abortion pill rule during pandemic

00:12  29 may  2020
00:12  29 may  2020 Source:   msn.com

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, Groups, ACLU challenge rule requiring drug pickup at office. Women’s health groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow patients to receive a prescribed abortion pill by mail rather than only in person at a hospital

Reproductive rights advocates are suing the Trump administration , asking a federal court to suspend restrictions on the abortion drug mifepristone during the coronavirus pandemic . But this new lawsuit is more narrow, Kaye said, in asking the court to suspend the rules during the pandemic only.

FILE - In this April 24, 2020 file photo, Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. A group of physicians has asked a federal court to suspend a U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule that requires patients to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to get an abortion pill. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, May 27 in Maryland on behalf of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this April 24, 2020 file photo, Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. A group of physicians has asked a federal court to suspend a U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule that requires patients to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to get an abortion pill. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, May 27 in Maryland on behalf of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Requiring patients to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to get an abortion pill is needlessly risking their health during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of physicians allege in a lawsuit that seeks to suspend the federal rule.

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Reproductive rights advocates are suing the Trump administration , asking a federal court to suspend restrictions on the abortion drug mifepristone during the coronavirus pandemic . But this new lawsuit is more narrow, Kaye said, in asking the court to suspend the rules during the pandemic only.

Abortion Doctor Sues FDA . FILE - This June 15, 2001, file photo shows Dr . Rebecca Gomperts, founder of the Amsterdam-based Women On Waves The Austrian doctor who prescribes abortion drugs to patients around the world is suing the United States for allegedly blocking her American

The federal lawsuit, which the American Civil Liberties Union filed Wednesday in Maryland, questions why patients can’t fill a prescription for mifepristone by mail. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone to be used in combination with a second drug, misoprostol, to end an early pregnancy or manage a miscarriage.

“Of the more than 20,000 drugs regulated by the FDA, mifepristone is the only one that patients must receive in person at a hospital, clinic, or medical office, yet may self-administer, unsupervised, at a location of their choosing,” the lawsuit says.

The ACLU sued the FDA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other groups. It marked the latest battle over access to abortions during the pandemic. Elsewhere, federal courts have heard cases involving access to abortion services as the outbreak continues.

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The abortion pill is a safe & effective way to end an early pregnancy. Learn more information at Planned Parenthood today! First, you take a pill called mifepristone. Pregnancy needs a hormone called progesterone to grow normally. Mifepristone blocks your body’s own progesterone, stopping

A European doctor supplying abortion drugs online to American women has filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ). Gomperts also complains of the FDA requirement that providers must ensure “the patient has access to medical facilities equipped to provide blood

More than four million people in the U.S. have used mifepristone and misoprostol to end an early pregnancy; the two-drug combination accounted for 39% of all U.S. abortions in 2017, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit says the FDA rule has “particularly severe implications for low-income people and people of color, who comprise a disproportionate share of impacted patients and who are already suffering and dying from COVID-19 at substantially higher rates.”

"During the COVID-19 pandemic and associated unemployment crisis, low-income patients are particularly likely to struggle to pay for and arrange travel," the suit says.

In 2017, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in Hawaii that challenged the FDA limits on where women can get the abortion pill. In January, a federal judge suspended the Hawaii case until the U.S. Supreme Court rules in a separate abortion-related lawsuit from Louisiana. The Louisiana case could determine whether doctors and clinics have a right to challenge abortion restrictions in federal courts.

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Jackson Women's Health Organization is the last remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. The Daily Mail spoke to its director, its security guards, and its relentless protesters.

Aid Access, a European organization that provides doctor -prescribed abortion pills by mail, is under scrutiny by the US Food and Drug Administration .

Julia Kaye, staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said the Trump administration apparently would rather endanger the lives of patients and doctors than lift “an unnecessary barrier to abortion care.”

“At every other turn during this pandemic, the federal government is trying to make it easier for patients to get the medical care they need without unnecessary health care visits that jeopardize their safety,” Kaye said.

After Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order in March that barred non-essential medical procedures during the pandemic, Texas’ Republican attorney general said that providing abortions other than for an immediate medical emergency would violate the order. A federal appeals court ruled last month that Texas can ban medication abortions to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Earlier this month, a federal judge rejected a request by Arkansas’ only surgical abortion clinic to prevent the state from enforcing a rule requiring a negative coronavirus test before a woman undergoes the procedure.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and HHS Secretary Alex Azar also are named as defendants in the suit.

In March, dozens of anti-abortion advocates signed a letter to Azar in which they called for halting abortion procedures during the pandemic. “Their continued operation depletes sorely needed personal protective equipment and leads to complications that will further overwhelm already overextended emergency rooms,” the letter said.

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Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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This is interesting!