According to Live Action, Alaska Superior Court Judge Josie Garton ruled that non-physician healthcare providers like nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can now write prescriptions for the abortion pill.
Live Action reports:
The ruling comes from a 2019 lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood against a state law that specified only a licensed physician can commit abortions. At the time, the abortion giant argued that because so many of the state’s residents live in rural areas and rely on healthcare providers like nurse practitioners, those healthcare providers needed to be able to prescribe abortion pills.
Anchorage Daily News reports that Judge Garton made her ruling on the basis that “[Planned Parenthood] is likely to succeed on the merits of its claim that prohibiting advanced practice clinicians from providing medication abortion violates patients’ right to privacy under the Alaska Constitution by significantly restricting the availability of abortions in this state without sufficient justification.”
Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires safety measures surrounding the use of mifepristone (the first drug in the abortion pill regimen). That set of requirements, known as REMS, has been in place since 2000, and state that mifepristone “is only available to be dispensed in certain healthcare settings, specifically, clinics, medical offices, and hospitals, by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber. It is not available in retail pharmacies, and it is not legally available over the Internet. These requirements also apply to the approved generic version….” In addition, prescribers must “have the ability to date pregnancies accurately and to diagnose ectopic pregnancies” and “be able to provide any necessary surgical intervention, or have made arrangements for others to provide for such care,” as well as “be able to ensure that women have access to medical facilities for emergency care….”
However, REMS has been suspended for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Biden Administration is seeking to rescind REMS permanently. Abortion pills are currently allowed to be dispensed online and in pharmacies for the duration of the pandemic. These changes align with the abortion industry’s provision of “no-test” abortion, in which women are not examined for the purpose of estimating gestational age, potential ectopic pregnancy, or Rh factor before receiving the abortion pill.