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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), challenging federal restrictions they argue “significantly” limit access to abortion pills. 

Currently, a prescription for the abortion pill Mifeprex cannot be filled at a retail pharmacy.

Instead, the pill must be obtained from a clinic, medical office or hospital from a health-care provider that has pre-registered with the drug manufacturer. 

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These providers must also stock the pill on site and patients must sign a form to get it. 

“The abortion pill is safe, effective, and legal. So why is the FDA keeping it locked away from women who need it?” said Julia Kaye, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

“The FDA’s unique restrictions on medication abortion are not grounded in science — this is just abortion stigma made law.”

The ACLU filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii on behalf of a doctor in Kauai, Hawaii, and several professional health-care associations. 

The ACLU says the rules violate the 2016 Supreme Court decision Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which ruled that health regulations must serve patient health and cannot burden access to abortion without a valid medical justification. 

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