Beginning on Wednesday, a sexual health clinic in the Bronx became the first of many city-wide sites to offer the free abortion drugs as part of Democratic Mayor Eric Adams' plan to offer a service that "no other city in the nation or in the world" has done before, the New York Post reports.
"For too long, health and health care has been centered around men," Adams said on Tuesday at a press conference on women's health. "If men had periods, pap smears and menopause, they would get a paid vacation. And if men could get pregnant, we wouldn't see Congress trying to pass laws restricting abortion."
City officials stated that the decision to offer the free service at public health clinics was in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year.
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene commissioner Ashwin Vasan said that the drugs will be "open to anyone."
"This is city dollars going to this specific purpose, and we're the first in the nation to do that," Vasan said.
Abortion pills, which can be taken within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, have a complication rate four times that of surgical abortions, due to the possibility of intense hemorrhaging and bleeding.
The pills, which are usually taken without medical supervision, resulted in a 500 percent increase in emergency room visits between 2002 and 2015.
The Biden era has seen a steady stream of loosening restrictions regarding abortion pills. Just this month, the FDA announced that retail pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens will be allowed to distribute the drugs.
In 2021, a pandemic-era decision to allow for abortion drugs to be prescribed to women remotely and mailed to their home was made permanent.
Since the pills were first made legal in the US in 2000, their popularity has steadily increased, with more than half of the country's abortions being done using the drugs in 2020.
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