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Abortion bans are impeding access to ulcer, arthritis, and cancer medications

Popular Science – “Methotrexate was introduced in the 1940s as a chemotherapy agent. Misoprostol was developed in the 1970s to treat stomach ulcers. On July 13, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified pharmacies that refusing to fill prescriptions for medicines containing ingredients that can induce abortion or prevent pregnancy could be in violation of federal civil rights law. The new guidance, which is aimed at the roughly 60,000 retail pharmacies across the country, breaks down how withholding certain medicines would discriminate against customers on the basis of sex or disability. These drugs include contraceptives, miscarriage treatments, and several non-abortion medications used to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, and multiple sclerosis.  Experts are concerned that some pharmacists in states that have passed abortion restrictions might be unwilling to dispense common medications, even when they have been prescribed for other purposes besides reproductive healthcare. “Reproductive rights are not only a women’s issue, nor are they only an [obstetrics] issue,” Sara C. LaHue, an assistant professor of clinical neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, said in an email. “Restrictions on abortion will affect the care provided by the vast majority of medical specialties in the US.” ..

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