The State of the States: Attacks on Medication Abortion Access in 2013


Attacks on Medication Abortion Access in 2013

How States are Restricting Medication Abortion

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication abortion in 2000, more than 1.4 million women in the United States have chosen to use this method to end a pregnancy. It is a safe, less invasive, and more private method of ending a pregnancy in its earliest stages, and is done in consultation with health care provider.

Restrictions on medication abortion have taken several different shapes in recent years. In 2013, anti-abortion legislators targeted women’s access to medication abortion by proposing legislation in at least 10 states that would make it more difficult for women to access this early method of abortion care.

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The Impact of Restrictions on Medication Abortion

Women in the United States have been using medication abortion safely for more than a decade. In fact, when it is an available option, one in four women decides to use this method. Medical studies have shown that it is just as safe and effective as a surgical abortion, as a woman is overseen by a medical professional to whom she has access 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Particularly for rural women, the use of telemedicine to provide safe medication abortion has been an innovative development in expanding abortion access in places where the lack of availability of abortion providers serves as a barrier to care. By banning this form of medication abortion provision, legislators are reducing access to abortion care for women purely for political purposes. This could make abortion care more difficult and more expensive to access, posing real potential threats to women’s health and safety—especially those already disadvantaged. A woman’s zip code should not define her access to care.

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Draw The Line

Politicians are making it harder, more dangerous, and more costly to have a medication abortion. Doctors know better than politicians what’s right for their patients, and patients should be able to make these decisions according to their doctors’ advice and expertise, not any politician’s ideological agenda. In 2012, the Center launched the Draw the Line campaign with the express purpose of putting the rampant attacks on women’s reproductive health care—like those described above—on the entire nation’s radar. Nearly 300,000 people have signed the Bill of Reproductive Rights at, sending politicians a loud and clear message that reproductive rights are fundamental human rights, and must be protected from extremist politicians. Visit to add your voice.

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