Here are the Democratic Candidates Who Support Over the Counter Abortion Drugs

By Published on November 26, 2019

Seven Democratic 2020 presidential candidates want to make the abortion drugs misoprostol and mifepristone available over the counter.

The New York Times surveyed Democratic presidential candidates on whether they would “make misoprostol and mifepristone available over the counter.” Of the 16 candidates included in the survey, seven said they would make the abortion drugs available over the counter for use.

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2020 candidates Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang each responded “yes,” while former Vice President Joe Biden did not answer the question and 2020 candidates Kamala Harris’s, Bernie Sanders’s, Julian Castro’s and Tulsi Gabbard’s stance on the question is “unclear,” according to the Times. The publication conducted the survey before 2020 Democrats Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick entered the race.

Misoprostol and mifepristone are two medicines used in an “abortion pill” to “end a pregnancy,” according to Planned Parenthood’s page on “The Abortion Pill.”

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“Mifepristone blocks your body’s own progesterone, stopping the pregnancy from growing,” Planned Parenthood says. “Then you take the second medicine, misoprostol, either right away or up to 48 hours later. This medicine causes cramping and bleeding to empty your uterus. It’s kind of like having a really heavy, crampy period, and the process is very similar to an early miscarriage.”

For more from the Stream on over-the-counter medication abortions, see Dwight Longenecker’s Illegal Bathroom Abortion is the Dangerous New Backstreet Abortion.

Planned Parenthood notes that the abortion pill is “very effective,” adding that the abortion pill works about 94-98 out of 100 times for mothers who are 8 weeks pregnant or less, 94-96 out of 100 times for mothers who are 8-9 weeks pregnant, and 91-93 out of 100 times for mothers who are 9-10 weeks pregnant. The pill’s effectiveness weakens depending on how far the mother is into her pregnancy.

Bennet added in the survey that he supports making the abortion drugs available over the counter with “an optional pharmacist consultation,” while Buttigieg suggests ignoring the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) applied to mifepristone. REMS is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug safety program that the FDA requires “for certain medications with serious safety concerns.”

Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion advocates have called for the removal of REMS from mifepristone, but the FDA warns that buyers “should not buy Mifeprex over the Internet because you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health (and the health of others).”

As of Dec. 31, 2018, there have been 24 deaths of women who were associated with the abortion drug since it was first approved in September 2000, according to the FDA.

 

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