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relates to The Abortion Pill Is Safer Than Tylenol and Almost Impossible to Get

Illustration: Sophi Gullbrants

The Abortion Pill Is Safer Than Tylenol and Almost Impossible to Get

Mifepristone could—but probably won’t—revolutionize a post-Roe world.

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(This story was originally published on February 17, 2022. On Monday evening, Politico reported that it had obtained a draft majority opinion, signed by Justice Samuel Alito, overturning the landmark 1973 Roe ruling that made abortion a constitutional right. Such a decision could reshape the November midterm elections, giving Republicans a long-sought victory and galvanizing Democrats as primaries get underway.)

Mifepristone may be the least marketed pharmaceutical product in the U.S. There aren’t any ads for it on TV. Most doctors can’t prescribe it. Pharmacists don’t know much about it, since it doesn’t sit on the shelves at CVS or Walgreens. It would be reasonable to assume this is all because mifepristone is exceptionally dangerous. But it sends fewer people to the ER than Tylenol or Viagra. It’s also highly effective when used as intended: to induce an abortion.