The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    Abortion pill access protected in recent vote


    On Friday, April 21 the Supreme Court voted to protect access to a widely used abortion drug by freezing lower-court rulings that placed restrictions on its usage.

    Prior to the vote, in a statement released on the official website Governor Gavin Newsom said, “In response to this extremist ban on a medication abortion drug, our state has secured a stockpile of an alternative medication abortion drug to ensure that Californians continue to have access to safe reproductive health treatments. We will not cave to extremists who are trying to outlaw these critical abortion services. Medication abortion remains legal in California.”

    Prior to the ruling, Governor Newsom announced that California had secured an emergency stockpile of up to 2 million pills of Misoprostol in case the drug was effectively banned. 

    Washington state, Massachusetts, and New York are the only other states to have stockpiled emergency pills as well.  

    Medication abortion is entirely legal in 21 states, including the entire West coast.

    In 14 states such as Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, the pill must be prescribed by a doctor. 

    Other 14 states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Idaho, and Tennessee have restricted and banned the pill in its entirety. 

    The abortion pill, also known as a medical abortion or medication abortion, is a way to end a pregnancy through the use of medication rather than surgery. It involves taking two different medications: mifepristone and misoprostol.

    First year student Eleanor Shebline said she was shocked that abortion was still a topic of debate. 

     “Up until last weekend I didn’t know there were two pills you had to take. It’s kinda scary to be honest.” 

    The first type of pill, Mifepristone, works by blocking the hormone called progesterone, which causes the lining of the uterus to thin and prevents the embryo from growing.

    The second pill, Misoprostol, is taken a day or two after the first pill and causes the uterus to contract, getting rid of the pregnancy. 

    First year student Fernanda Melandaz said that she did not realize that the abortion pill had been up for debate. “I try not to pay attention to the news these days. I’m happy the vote went the way it should’ve, but it’s also the bare minimum at the same time.” 

    According to Planned Parenthood, for women who have been pregnant for 8 weeks or less, the pill is effective about 98 out of 100 times. From 8-9 weeks pregnant, it works about 96 out of 100 times. From 9-10 weeks, it works 93 out of 100 times.

    Residents can access abortion pills online through a mail-order pharmacy or a qualified corner store such as CVS or Walgreens. The average pill online costs around $289, including a $20 consultation fee as well as a shipping fee.  

    SSU second year kinesiology student Alan Herbert said that he felt ‘grateful’ to live in California because of how relaxed and lenient the rules are compared to conservative states.

    “Even though it doesn’t necessarily affect me, it really affects the women in my life like my mom, girlfriend, and sister,” said Herbert. 

    According to the New York Times, more than 100 scientific studies were conducted, not only spanning through different continents but decades as well. The study examined the effectiveness and safety of mifepristone and misoprostol. All the results concluded that the pills are a safe method for patients who want to end a pregnancy in the first trimester.

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