Headline RoundupMarch 1st, 2024

CVS, Walgreens to Begin Dispensing Abortion Pill Mifepristone Ahead of Supreme Court Review

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Within weeks, two of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains will begin dispensing the abortion pill mifepristone in certain states ahead of a Supreme Court case related to the pill’s FDA approval.

The Details: Walgreens said it would begin “a phased rollout in select locations” in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California and Illinois within a week. CVS said it was “not yet dispensing it in any of our pharmacies” but would fill prescriptions for the pill in Rhode Island and Massachusetts “in the weeks ahead and will expand to additional states, where allowed by law, on a rolling basis.”

For Context: The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on March 26 in a case reviewing a 2023 appellate ruling that would place restrictions on mifepristone. A January 2023 FDA regulatory change allowed pharmacies to become certified to dispense mifepristone, but a court allowed some restrictions on the drug, prompting the Biden administration and the drugmaker to ask the Supreme Court to intervene.

What is Mifepristone? Mifepristone is the first of two medications used in medication-induced abortions. It blocks the hormone progesterone, halting a pregnancy’s progress. A second pill, misoprostol, causes the uterus to empty. Misoprostol can be used on its own, and mifepristone is also used in medical management of miscarriages. 

How the Media Covered It: The New York Times (Lean Left bias) broke the story. Coverage was generally straightforward across the spectrum; some coverage from the left emphasized that mifepristone had “repeatedly been proven safe.” 

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