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Julie Rovner is chief Washington correspondent and host of KFF Health News’ weekly health policy news podcast, “What the Health?” A noted expert on health policy issues, Julie is the author of the critically praised reference book “Health Care Politics and Policy A to Z,” now in its third edition.
Mifepristone, the abortion pill, is at the center of the abortion debate. Late Wednesday evening, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the drug would remain on sale but only under the same distribution restrictions as those in place prior to 2016, which prohibit prescribing via mail or telemedicine. The restrictions would be even more difficult to patients who live in states with abortions that are illegal or not widely available.
The decision was made in response a ruling that came out last week from Texas. A federal judge found, as many expected, that the FDA shouldn’t have approved the medication more than 22 years earlier and ordered it to be unapproved.
The situation is further complicated by a separate suit filed in 18 states where abortions are largely legal ,…