At a time when states are limiting abortion access, the Delaware General Assembly on Thursday passed legislation that allows more health care providers to prescribe medication to terminate pregnancies.
The bill, which now makes its way to the governor’s desk, would allow physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe medication used for abortions. Current state law allows only physicians to write prescriptions for these medications, which include Mifeprex, Mifepristone, and Misoprostol.
Physician assistants and advanced practice nurses can prescribe most types of medications, including controlled substances.
The legislation fell along party lines in both chambers. No Republican supported the bill.
Medication abortions have become the most common form of abortion in the United States, making up more than half of all abortions in 2020, according to the Guttmacher Institute. It consists of two pills for pregnancies up to 10 weeks of gestation. The medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for more than two decades.
The Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, found that medication abortions rose from 39% in 2017 to 54% in 2020.
This week the Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill that would make most abortions performed in the state a felony, following a number of Republican-controlled states passing aggressive anti-abortion measures in recent months.
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case that could significantly reduce abortion access in the country.
Regardless of an abortion ruling from the Supreme Court, abortions in Delaware would remain legal because the state added protections into its own laws several years ago. The General Assembly, in 2017, passed a law that asserted Roe v. Wade protections even if the federal case is overturned.
Contact Meredith Newman at (302) 256-2466 or at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @MereNewman.
This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Delaware Legislature passes bill to expand medication abortion access