>> The number of abortions in America continues to drop decade after decade, but demand for abortion pills is on the rise. Data provided to Reuters by over a dozen clinics and Planned Parenthood sites shows that so-called medication abortions are becoming more common in places such as Ohio, where, until recently, laws made it difficult to obtain the pills.
Reuters correspondent Jillian Mincer.>> What we're seeing is dramatic changes in states like Texas, Ohio, which, until this spring, limited how it could be used. Now it'll be available further along in someone's pregnancy, up until ten weeks. And that's making a huge difference, because before it was only up through 49 days to station.
So we're seeing rates triple in those locations.>> Here's how a medication abortion works. It involves taking 2 pills within a 24 to 48 hour period. The first blocks the hormone progesterone, the second induces uterine contractions. Studies show this method has a roughly 95% success rate. A change in FDA regulations this year means medical professionals other than doctors, such as nurse practitioners and physicians' assistants, can also prescribe the medicine.
The pills are most widely used now in Iowa clinics, where they account for 64% of all abortions, according to Planned Parenthood.>> Many women say they prefer the medication abortion because it's more like a miscarriage. They also have more control over when it's happening. They can take the second pill at home, perhaps with their partner or another family member.
They're going to be uncomfortable, so they could plan for that. They also like it because some people don't want to have surgery or they don't want to have anesthesia.>> In most locations, women still have to visit an abortion clinic to obtain the medication. A number of states have imposed other restrictions on medical abortions.
More than a dozen states require a patient to be counseled by a physician in person prior to taking the pills. And 37 states require prescribers to be doctors, despite the change in FDA regulations.