In the wake of the recent FDA announcement that pharmacies can now dispense abortion pills, the Florida Agency for Health Care (AHCA) Administration has released a statement reminding pharmacists in the state that the distribution of abortion pills is illegal under state law.
“The Agency issues this alert to remind providers that they must continue to comply with Florida laws that govern the performance of abortions,” the agency said in an emailed health care alert.
Florida law allows abortions until 15 weeks gestation, but it stipulates that only a physician can commit an abortion and that all abortions must be done in person after a 24-hour waiting period. This prohibits pharmacists or other third-party from facilitating abortion drugs. The AHCA referenced this law in its email, stating, “It is unlawful for any person to perform or assist in performing an abortion on a person, except in an emergency care situation, other than in a validly licensed hospital or abortion clinic or in a physician’s office.”
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The agency also noted that “criminal penalties” would be possible for any pharmacist breaking the law, and that anyone caught in violation would be referred to local law enforcement.
The abortion pill regimen involves both the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. The woman first takes mifepristone, which blocks progesterone to the child, cutting off nutrients. Typically 24-48 hours later, she takes misoprostol, which causes contractions so that she delivers the baby.
Though both CVS and Walgreens have announced that they plan to seek the FDA certification to dispense abortion drugs, Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed during a Thursday briefing that they will not be doing so in Florida. According to Yahoo! News, Florida is one of 18 states nationwide that will not allow abortion pill distribution in pharmacies due to state law.
In 2020, the abortion pill was responsible for an astounding 53% of all abortions nationwide. Statistics published by the FDA through June of 2022 revealed that the abortion pill had ended the lives of approximately 5.6 million preborn human beings since its approval in 2000.