Availability of Medical Abortion in the U.S. Continues to Provide Women Safe Alternative, 15-Years after FDA Approval

Carafem Health provides women with a safe and effective non-surgical option to end early pregnancy

WASHINGTON– This September marks the 15-year anniversary of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s approval of the use of Mifepristone (also known as RU-486 or the “abortion pill”). Mifepristone is the first and only FDA approved medication to provide women with a safe and effective non-surgical option to end an early pregnancy.

“Medication abortion is an empowering, private, and non-invasive procedure that puts the control back in the woman’s hands. Carafem is proud to focus on the availability of the abortion pill along with a variety of birth control options to provide women choices and support their decisions regarding the timing and spacing of their children,” says Melissa Grant VP of Carafem. “Women are given Mifepristone in our health center, to be followed by another medication called Misoprostol, usually taken at home the same day or up to 72 hours later. Having options for how and when to use these medications allows a woman more flexibility and control around when and where she experiences the abortion process. Medication abortion does not require surgery or anesthesia.”

The proportion of women in the United States deciding to end a pregnancy by medication has been steadily growing since Mifepristone’s approval. Since 2000, more than 2 million women in the United States have chosen medication abortion for ending an early pregnancy. There is overwhelming evidence that medication abortion is safe for virtually all women.

Never before has abortion been safer, less invasive and more affordable than with medication abortion and Carafem focuses on the provision of this method for early abortion care. By providing same-day appointments, one-on-one private visits with a knowledgeable clinician, financial assistance, and visits that routinely last no more than an hour, Carafem is responding to a critical need in women’s reproductive healthcare.

Medically unnecessary restrictions have contributed to the abortion pill not being as widely available to women as it could be. The reality is that these regulations do nothing to make abortion safer- but they make it more costly and less available.

“Carafem is proud to ensure that women are aware of all of their reproductive health care options through education in our health centers and through our honest and cutting-edge advertising campaigns. Carafem aims to lift the stigma that surrounds this common medical procedure,” adds Grant.

On the 15th anniversary of Mifepristone’s approval in the U.S., Carafem aims to deflate negativity and increase awareness of something that is, and has been, common in our society. In fact, 1 in 3 women will choose to have an abortion during her reproductive lifetime. This statistic offers cultural validation for updating the conversation and highlights the importance of access to quality health care.