Medication abortion, also known as RU-486, is a safe, nonsurgical way to terminate a pregnancy in its early stages.
This medication has been used safely and effectively worldwide since 1981. It was first approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, after extensive research and testing.
However, anti-choice politicians who want to outlaw abortion completely have relentlessly tried to restrict access to medication abortion despite its effectiveness and safety. These attempts put partisan ideology ahead of public health.
One tactic anti-choice politicians have employed to block access to medication abortion is to enact bans on the use of telehealth for dispensing prescriptions. Such bans are especially harmful to people who live in rural or underserved areas far from an abortion provider. North Carolina has such a ban, enacted in 2013. These bans are not based on medical science or evidence.
Anti-choice groups also deliberately try to conflate medication abortion with emergency contraception (EC). EC is a form of birth control and does not cause abortion, and has been available over the counter in the United States since 2013 for people 15 and over. Access is variable, however, and NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina has joined national group Reproaction on a campaign to ensure EC is easily accessible to all who need it.
For more information on medication abortion, including state laws and restrictions across the country, click here.