The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it would permanently remove a key restriction on medication used to terminate pregnancies, allowing so-called "abortion pills" to be available by mail and prescribed through telehealth medical consultations.
The FDA had temporarily allowed the medication to be available in such methods after a federal judge ordered it due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about virus exposure in health care settings. Now, the agency says it will leave those new policies in place – a key move by the Biden administration as the Supreme Court considers monumental cases that could limit abortion rights across the country.
The FDA, which first approved medical abortion in 2000, had always required the pills could only be prescribed after an in-person visit with a doctor. Women who are up to 10 weeks pregnant could received the medication.