MIAMI (CBS Miami)
Just a few weeks ago the FDA cleared the way for pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens to fill a prescription for abortion pills. However, in Florida, that won’t be the case.
CBS4 takes a look at what this will mean for pregnant women in the state.
“In terms of CVS, Walgreens, I don’t know about Publix, but they are not going to be offering that in the state of Florida,” Governor Ron DeSantis said.
In fact, the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration has sent out a letter warning pharmacies that if they do so, it is illegal.
It cites Florida statutes that state, “no termination shall be performed at any time except by a licensed physician,” and “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.”
So, in addition to getting the pill or procedure done by a doctor, a patient in Florida has to wait 24 hours after counseling.
“If you’re in a state where you’re pregnant, and you don’t want to be, you’re already struggling with that, now you have to figure out where you can even go,” Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, an OB-GYN and Mayday Health Exec. Dir. said.
MayDay Health runs a website that educates users on what they need to know about getting an abortion in each state.
“Mifepristone is a medication that is used in medication abortions and what it does is, it is a progesterone blocker, so it will block the hormone progesterone from attaching and that means an ongoing pregnancy cannot continue; it’s the first medication that’s taken a two-step process,” she explained.
And that’s why she tells us some may look to telehealth for a prescription, particularly from providers out of state or internationally, and then get medication mailed to them, though she warns there are potential legal risks depending on the state.
“They still need to be prescribed, and unfortunately it doesn’t help those who are the most marginalized,” Dr. Lincoln added.
A doctor can only give the pill in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, and in Florida, surgical abortions can be done up to 15 weeks of pregnancy.