Abortion medication would be dispensed by pharmacists in New York under legislation announced Thursday by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. 

The bill planned by the Westchester County Democrat comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the regulator change that allows abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol to be dispensed at retail pharmacies. 

The legislation is meant to further expand access by allowing pharmacies to dispense the pills with the use of non-patient-specific prescriptions. State law currently allows for licensed doctors, certified nurse practitioners or licensed midwives to prescribe abortion medication. 

The proposal is meant to reduce costs for women and eliminate the need for an additional trip to the doctor's office. 

“As states around the nation are tragically banning and limiting access to abortions, New York needs to continue to expand abortion options and ease of access," said Paulin, the top Democrat on the Assembly Health Committee. “Allowing pharmacists to dispense this medication will lower costs and help address access disparities for many New Yorkers, especially marginalized populations, who are more likely to live closer to a pharmacy than a physician’s office."

Mifepristone and misoprostol can be taken up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy. More than half of the abortions in the U.S. in 2021 were through the use of the two-drug medication, according to Paulin's office. 

The FDA's decision follows a Supreme Court ruling this summer that overturned the Roe v. Wade decision, throwing abortion policy to state governments. Restrictions on abortion in some states were put into place, while others sought ways to expand access. 

In New York, lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul have sought to strengthen abortion providers and make it easier for women from other states with less access to the procedure to receive one. 

At the same time, New York lawmakers are in the process of approving a state constitutional amendment meant to guarantee equal rights, which was proposed ahead of the Supreme Court's ruling last year. 

Opponents of abortion have urged New York officials to consider encouraging alternatives to abortion, including the promotion of services for families and making adoption easier.