Duke leaders say looming abortion pill ban could impact doctor recruitment

Tamara Scott Image
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Duke leaders weigh in on impact of ban on Mifepristone in NC
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Access to abortion medications remains uncertain with contradictory court rulings.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As the access to abortion medications remains uncertain with contradictory court rulings looming local Duke leaders talked today about the possible ramifications in North Carolina.

Better known as the abortion pill, the Mifepristone drug could possibly be on the list of drugs no longer available if recent Texas judge ruling to overturn FDA approval comes to pass.

The drug is widely used in North Carolina and 2020 data shows is responsible for over 60% of the abortions.

Wednesday Duke Reproductive Health Leader Doctor Beverly Gray weighed in on the consequences of banning the drug that is also used to treat miscarriages.

"If you are going to your doctor for treating anything like high blood pressure diabetes you want the medicine that is safe effective with the least side effects that your doctor recommends to you and so this ruling is basically saying the safest most effective most recommended method might be taken away," she said.

Duke Law School Professor Jolynn Dellinger also added what a potential ruling would mean for our state and country as a whole.

"We are raising issues about the different responsibilities of different branches of government and the FDA empowered by Congress exists for a reason and we should be letting the FDA do its job and not be letting a judge displace that evaluation with his own personal opinion," she said.

Dr. Gray also saw this potentially impact the quality recruitment in NC.

"There will be people who will be drawn to the field because they have that fire in the belly they want to advocate for reproductive healthcare. I think probably more commonly what will happen is that people will make choices about where they live and train based on what the laws of that state look like."

The ruling will go into effect on Saturday if the 5th circuit or Supreme Court does not freeze it in the interim.