The FDA sides with reproductive rights

A positive step has been made for women, this time from the FDA. Abortion pills can now be sold at local drug stores and major pharmaceutical chains like Walgreens and CVS, as outlined through the new FDA guidelines

There are two drugs in the abortion pill: the first is mifepristone, which blocks the hormones necessary to carry out a pregnancy; the second drug is misoprostol, which causes the uterus to empty, according to Planned Parenthood

Until recently, mifepristone has only been available at hospitals and medical offices, but the second drug, misoprostol, has already been easily obtainable at pharmacies, as reported by The New York Times

Currently, pharmacies wishing to sell abortion pills must apply for and be granted certification. Both Walgreens and CVS have said they are moving forward to gain certification, according to Kaiser Health news.

However, it should be noted that customers need to do more than waltz into Walgreens or CVS expecting to receive mifepristone. Those seeking the pill do need to visit their doctor and obtain a subscription, the FDA said. 

Molly Holmes, the program director of NIU’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, is glad to see improved abortion access for students. 

“Working with equity and inclusion at a university, we’re always thinking about how to make sure that our students have access to all the support that they need,” Holmes said. “So when I think about something like this being offered in places that are more accessible to students that’s always a great thing.” 

When students have access to the resources they need, they are able to focus more on their studies and get involved with student events and organizations. 

The FDA’s decision not only expands access to those who identify as a woman, but members of the LGBTQ+ community get left out of the conversation about abortion rights. It is important to remember that they are affected as well. 

“Expanded access, provides more access to, you know, these particular minoritized, marginalized communities, and sometimes it (abortion rights) gets coded as a women’s only issue,” Holmes said. “I always want to make sure that students know that people on this campus care and support them.” 

Holmes said it is important to let students know that there are people on campus who care about them and want them to succeed. 

Allowing these drugs to be sold will increase abortion access to those seeking it in states where it is legal. Expanding access to abortion is exactly what society needs as the overturn of Roe v. Wade left many confused and devastated.