Abortion pills will soon become more readily available after federal regulators this month cleared retail pharmacies to begin selling them. However, it remains to be seen how the pills will be advertised by pharmacies, if at all.
The regulation change for the abortion pill mifepristone, which is taken in sequence with another drug called misoprostol to facilitate a medical abortion, comes in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in June 2022 repealing the constitutional right to an abortion. The new abortion pill rule marks another instance of corporations being drawn into politically charged debates—this time involving pharmacies and advertising platforms such as Facebook, Google and Spotify.
Walgreens and CVS intend to become certified to sell the pill, according to brand spokespeople. CVS does not plan to advertise mifepristone or misoprostol, a representative said. Walgreens in a statement said: “As a general practice we do not advertise any prescription medications, and we will not be advertising mifepristone.”
Mifepristone—one version is sold commercially as Mifeprex from Danco Laboratories—could previously only be acquired online or at specific health centers with a prescription. Under a Food and Drug Administration rule change finalized on Jan. 3, people will now be able to take their prescriptions to a licensed pharmacy. Misoprostol is already available at retail pharmacies.