January 2017 – Chemical abortions, using the drugs mifepristone (RU-486) and misoprostol, are rapidly increasing as regulations are loosened. Chemical abortions sold by Planned Parenthood accounted for 43% of all abortions in 2014, up from 35% in 2010. And after the FDA further reduced regulations in March 2016, chemical abortion has become even more popular. In Michigan, for instance, 55% of abortions were chemical abortions by late 2016. In Iowa, the percentage was even higher at 64%.
The new regulations allow RU-486 prescriptions to be given up to the tenth week of pregnancy instead of the seventh, drop the required number of medical visits from three to two, and permit nurse practitioners to prescribe the drugs.