HOUSTON (FOX 26) - At a time in Texas when receiving an abortion has been made more difficult by restrictive state law U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week expanded access to medication which terminates pregnancy.
The FDA says it is now safe to use the abortion pill Mifeprex (also known as RU-486) up to 70 days of gestation - three weeks deeper into a pregnancy than the previous limit.
Planned Parenthood says the FDA's action will give Texas women reproductive choice with less severe physical, financial and logistical challenges.
"A woman isn't having to travel multiple times as she would for a surgical abortion. She is are able to do that in two visits or perhaps one if she is a hundred miles away from an abortion provider, so this definitely does open up access," said Rochelle Tafolla with Planned Parenthood.
But abortion opponents like Texas Right to Life fear green lighting the use of Mifeprex deeper into pregnancies could increase health risks for women opting for a chemical procedure.
"You know the FDA has recorded 14 deaths from this drug and yet they are extending the usage of it, so its a little troubling not knowing whether this is a good medical idea or not," said Emily Horne with Texas Right to Life.
The FDA does confirm a handful of deaths related to Mifeprex, but they are comparatively rare.
It's estimated more than 2.75 million American woman have used the drug since it was approved in 2000.