ACLU sues FDA over access to abortion pill: 3 things to know

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The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration over agency restrictions that limit access to the abortion pill Mifeprex.

Here are three things to know.

1. Current regulations prohibit patients from filling a prescription for the drug at a pharmacy. Instead, they must visit a clinic or physician's office preregistered with Mifeprex's manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, to stock the pill on site.

"The abortion pill is safe, effective, and legal. So why is the FDA keeping it locked away from women who need it?" said Julia Kaye, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "The FDA's unique restrictions on medication abortion are not grounded in science — this is just abortion stigma made law."

2. The ACLU contends the FDA regulations violate a 2016 Supreme Court decision, in which the court ruled "health regulations must actually serve patient health and cannot burden access to abortion without a valid medical justification."

3. The group filed the suit on behalf of a physician in Hawaii and a few professional healthcare associations.

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