'Abortion Pill' Controversy Stirring on 10th Anniversary


On the 10th anniversary of the FDA's approval of RU-486, anti-abortion activists are up in arms over the fact that RU-486 is a telemedicine, which means that prescriptions can be made via teleconference. Contrary to popular belief, many people in rural areas do not have access to medical care because of a number of factors, including geography, income and medical resources. Telemedicine programs were developed to reach people who otherwise might not be able to obtain health care in a reasonable amount of time. RU-486 is one of the medicines approved for distribution through telemedicine programs in states like Iowa, which has a pioneering telemedicine program. While the use of the pill has been successful in the United States, with few problems, anti-abortion activists are saying that making the pill available to people this way is wrong. Really? What about other controversial medicines? The RU-486 pill is available and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What difference does it make in terms of how they get it as long as they're of age and have a prescription? They do have to see a doctor — it's just by teleconference, which quite frankly isn't much different from seeing a doctor in person, except you probably have more of his or her undivided attention. Stopping telemedicine from distributing the pill may or may not reduce the number of pills prescribed, but it will make it harder for people who already have barriers to health care. Sounds like more hype than what's happening. What do you think?

Read more at MSNBC.


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