FOCUS: Retail pharmacies dispense abortion pills under new FDA ruling

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022, abortion access has decreased, leaving people to carry out unwanted pregnancies to term, or travel to visit abortion clinics. However, due to a recent decision made by the FDA, abortion will become more accessible to people all over America.

On Jan. 3, 2023, eight months after Roe v. Wade was overturned, the FDA made the decision to allow retail pharmacies to sell abortion pills with the option to order pills by mail. Previously, abortion pills could only be obtained through one’s doctor.

Freshman Kaitlynn Ng believes that this decision will benefit American women, increasing access to abortion pills.

“I view it (the FDA’s decision) as a positive thing because women can easily access abortion pills instead of getting surgery which is more stressful and more costly.” Ng said.

Physical education teacher Julie Kawamoto hopes this development will lead to more positive outlooks on abortion rights.

“I really hope that whenever a situation (concerning abortion) comes again, a woman can make her choice,” Kawamoto said. “Hopefully, it (the decision to introduce abortion pills) would open people’s minds to knowing that everyone has those rights.”

Ng believes that the FDA’s decision on abortion pills will have a positive impact on the future and with time, those who are anti-abortion may have a change of heart concerning their beliefs on abortion.

“It will have a positive impact on future abortion laws because it’s allowing women to easily access abortion pills,” Ng said. “Also, as time progresses, it’s quite possible that people (those against abortion) will change since they or the people they know (will) have used abortion pills. They will probably feel more comfortable to advocate for abortion rights because they have seen how it can impact someone.”

Others, like freshman Marina Franco, believe that despite increased access to abortion pills, women’s rights in America will continue to be a struggle.

“I think that that could eventually lead to other laws against women’s rights because since they (the government) don’t let us decide what we’re going to do with our own body, I believe that they could also make a law to control us into not doing something else that we have the right to do,” Franco said.

Some, like junior Dafne Azana, are worried that the wide availability of abortion pills may lead to them being misused.

“Many women may be using them as a substitute for birth control because of everything that has been going on and especially if abortion pills are easily accessible to them.” Azana said.

Azana believes that the recent decision may cause upset within the anti-abortion community.

“Many (who are anti-abortion) would be really upset about bringing in abortion pills since they are against it and they may go against the people who believe in it,” Azana said. “It can possibly cause a lot of chaos and many disagreements between them which could possibly go on for a good amount of time.”

Sophomore Isabella Jimenez is worried that with fast-acting abortion pills, many people may not take the time to consider all of their decisions before having an abortion.

“Some women sometimes don’t know if they want to have a child or not, and when they find out, they’re just very nervous and stressed out and stuff,” Jimenez said. “Because those women could have been raped, or they could be minors or something, they might just take those abortion pills without really thinking about it.”

Despite the introduction of abortion pills, Jimenez believes that the government could be doing more and their lack of action reflects the way they treat women.

“I think that the government is doing something really wrong because all the stuff against abortion just proves that they don’t really care about us or our rights.” Jimenez said.