The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has permanently changed its distribution guidance for abortion pills Mifeprex and the generic version, Mifepristone.
The FDA no longer requires people to obtain the pills in person. The change in guidance will allow people to receive the drug by mail.
Those seeking the abortion pills will still need a prescription, which can be obtained in person or through a telemedicine consultation.
“It’s really significant,” Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, told The New York Times. “Telehealth abortions are much easier for both providers and patients, and even in states that want to do it, there have been limits on how available it is.”
The FDA suspended the in-person dispensing requirement for Mifeprex and Mifepristone during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Thursday's decision makes the policy permanent.
The FDA's action comes as abortion rights are being rolled back. In Texas, abortions are banned after about six weeks.
The Supreme Court also heard arguments last month about a 2018 Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks. Several justices appeared to signal they would uphold the ban.