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Abortion Rights Group Challenges Law Restricting Mifepristone

The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy is suing for an injunction against a Michigan law that would limit women’s access to mifepristone, the early abortion pill, and would effectively ban physicians from prescribing the drug. The law, an amendment to Michigan’s 24-hour waiting period statute, requires physicians and clinics to provide women seeking abortions with state materials that describe any medical procedures used. But the bill stipulates that these materials cannot include a description of any medication not approved specifically for use in abortion procedures. Although mifepristone was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective method of early abortion, the drug must be used in conjunction with misoprostol, a drug that induces contractions to expel the fertilized egg or embryo. Misoprostol is an ulcer drug that has not been approved for abortion, although its use in conjunction with mifepristone was a part of in the FDA approval of mifepristone.

Other provisions included in the new law, which is scheduled to take effect March 28, mirror anti-choice efforts in other states. For example, the law requires doctors and clinics to provide information on the “psychological effects” of abortion, including depression and guilt. Such information is misleading and false; in fact, a recent psychological study showed that, both a few hours and two years after having a first-trimester abortion, the emotion women felt more than any other (positive or negative) was “relief.”

Sources:

Los Angeles Times - February 27, 2001 and Brenda Major et. al. ÒPsychological Responses of Women After First-Trimester Abortions.Ó Archives of General Psychology. Vol. 57. No. 8. August 2000.

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