Debate heats up over new FDA abortion guidelines

Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-02 08:09:35-04

They're calling it a pro-choice victory. The Food and Drug Administration rolled out new guidelines for medication abortions. 

“It's refreshing for us that the label actually reflects the best practices,” said Melinda DuBois. Dubois is the Vice President of Health Services for Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York.

Under the new rules, women have up to 10 weeks to terminate the pregnancy using the abortion pill. Previously, it had to be taken before seven weeks.

The dosage on the packaging is also being lowered. Before, women had to take 600 milligrams of the drug. Now, they will be prescribed 200 milligrams.

Health officials said that will help reduce the amount of side effects.

“The priority for us is that women have access to abortion care the most safe and effective way possible and this label change will allow women to have access to evidence based medicine,” DuBois said.

Access is part of the problem if you ask pro-life supporters like Cheryl Calire. She's the Pro-Life Activities Director for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. “The more you increase the availability, the more opportunity people will have to think it's an acceptable course of action,” she said.

Calire said pill abortions in New York have doubled in the last 10 years. She thinks the new guidelines will only add to the statistic. Instead, she would rather help women see the other options out there.

“We'd like for them to think that is something that is unthinkable. To see that there are opportunities for support, for people to really help them with their decision if they decide to choose life.”

The changes take effect immediately.