As originally published on the Los Angeles Times Daily Pilot on Friday, March 10, 2023.
Written by Dr. Shannon Connolly, Associate Medical Director, Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties.
A Texas federal court decision in the coming weeks could ban the use of mifepristone, a safe and common abortion drug that has been widely used for over 20 years. What many people here do not realize is that the Texas judge’s dangerous and unscientific position will limit Californians’ access to safe abortion care — and possibly to other lifesaving treatments.
Nationwide, 50% of abortions are done with medication, but here in Orange County, it’s closer to 80%. As a doctor who cares for pregnant people across Orange County, I have seen firsthand what having access to safe, timely abortion care can mean to patients. Everyone should have the ability to make decisions about their own reproductive lives and futures, including the method of abortion that works best for their circumstances.
Mifepristone was approved by the FDA over 20 years ago and has a stellar safety rating — over 99%. This attack on mifepristone is strictly politically motivated and clearly shows that overturning Roe vs. Wade wasn’t enough for anti-abortion extremists who want to completely eradicate access.
Our doors at Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC) are open, and we will provide the best treatment for any patient we see. But the consequences of this case go beyond access to one drug. It threatens the FDA’s authority over the approval process for medications and could have far-reaching consequences for patients’ access to other FDA-approved medications — and that affects everyone, not just those who are pregnant.