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Biden administration to 'temporarily' allow abortion pills by mail citing pandemic


The move reverses a Trump administration policy

Phil Walter/Getty Images

The Biden administration is set to "temporarily" lift a Trump administration policy requiring women seeking abortion-inducing drug Mifepristone — also known as RU486 — to be administered in person by health professionals, allowing the pills to be disbursed via mail citing the coronavirus pandemic.

What are the details?

CBS News reported that acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock informed the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists in a letter on Monday that her agency would allow providers in some states to "exercise enforcement discretion." Woodcock cited studies that dismissed any "serious safety concerns ... occurring with medical abortion as a result of modifying the in-person dispensing requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Pro-life organization March for Life said of the move:

"With this action, the Biden administration has made it clear that it will prioritize abortion over women's safety. Allowing unsupervised chemical abortions via telemedicine, without requiring timely access to medical care, will put women in grave danger.

"Data released in 2018 by the FDA shows thousands of adverse events caused by abortion pills, including 768 hospitalizations and 24 deaths since 2000. Chemical abortions should have more medical oversight not less."

CBS reported that the "temporary" action by the Biden administration handed "abortion-rights groups one of their first major victories of the new administration."

It was only the first move of the week by President Joe Biden's administration in rolling back abortion restrictions imposed by former President Donald Trump.

What else?

On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule change that would reverse a Trump-era policy that bans abortion referral-services from receiving federal funding, according to ABC News.

Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provided, was hardest hit when Trump implemented the restriction.

In a separate report, CBS News explained:

The current rules stemmed from the Trump administration's promise to "defund Planned Parenthood." The rule change prompted Planned Parenthood to exit the program, forgoing an estimated $60 million. In 2018, more than four million people relied on Title X for health care services, 41% of whom received services at Planned Parenthood, according to the health clinic.

For decades, Biden — a lifelong Catholic — supported the 1980 Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer dollars being spent on abortions. But he reversed his position on the policy when he ran for the Democratic ticket in 2020.

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