Use of ‘at-home abortion pills’ rises amid pandemic – and faces new threats

Medication abortions have are a safe and accessible method of terminating pregnancy, but they have been targeted by onerous FDA restrictions

Cecilia Nowell
Sun 1 Nov 2020

With six conservative justices now sitting on the supreme court, the future of abortion access in US looks increasingly uncertain. But in addition to concerns about whether abortion clinics can stay open, activists are warning that lesser-known abortion medications are also under threat.

Medication abortions have been proven to be a safe and effective method of terminating pregnancy, and because they can be completed without doctor supervision, they serve as a crucial alternative for those who have had other abortion services shuttered in their state, or who do not feel safe accessing traditional health services.


England’s at-home abortions amid coronavirus should be ‘catalyst’ for positive change to remain, experts urge

Alexandra Thompson, Yahoo Style UK
Oct. 8, 2020

Experts hope the relaxation of at-home abortion services amid the coronavirus pandemic will continue in England once the outbreak has passed.

Abortion is one of the most common procedures among women of a reproductive age.


Supreme Court denies request to lift injunction on FDA abortion pill rule

OCT. 8, 2020
By Daniel Uria

Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to lift a nationwide injunction preventing the Trump administration from regulating a pill commonly used for medication abortions.

In its first action on reproductive rights since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the shorthanded court rejected the bid to remove the emergency stay against restoring regulations that require patients to see a medical provider before receiving Mifeprex.


USA – Telemedicine Abortion Gains Momentum During Pandemic

Telemedicine Abortion Gains Momentum During Pandemic
— But FDA regulations on mifepristone still limit access

by Amanda D'Ambrosio, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
June 2, 2020

As access to in-person abortion clinics dwindled during the COVID-19 pandemic, providers have seen increased demand and awareness of another method of abortion care: telemedicine.

Melissa Grant, chief operating officer of carafem, a national abortion and birth control clinic, said that "there's definitely been a marked increase" in telemedicine abortions since stay-at-home orders were put in place.


Getting an Abortion During Lockdown Is Easier Than You Think

Getting an Abortion During Lockdown Is Easier Than You Think
New telemedicine services mean that most people in the UK are now able to perform their own abortions at home.

by Beth Ashley
02 June 2020

When lockdown was introduced in the UK, no one could have predicted its scale or impact. Every aspect of normal life has been affected by it – and those seeking an abortion haven’t been exempt, either.

Ellie*, 22, became pregnant in early April. She knew that she didn’t want to continue the pregnancy but was terrified she wouldn’t be able to get a termination due to COVID-19. “There was so much in the news and on social media through March about delayed and cancelled abortions in England,” she told VICE. “People had been campaigning against the [cancellations] all over Twitter. I was terrified about what might happen to me.”


Could Coronavirus Make Telemedicine Abortion the New Normal?

Could Coronavirus Make Telemedicine Abortion the New Normal?
Clinics are expanding access with virtual visits and sending pills by mail.

By Anna Louie Sussman
May 19, 2020

Terri first realized she was pregnant in late March. She was isolating at home with her boyfriend in rural upstate New York, where she runs a housecleaning business. At 46, she was sure she didn’t want to become a 60-year-old parent to a teenager. “I was like, ‘No, that’s not going to happen,’” says Terri, who asked to be identified by her first name only. She called the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic, a 40-minute drive away, and took the first appointment available, which was a week-and-a-half later. Uninsured, Terri says she planned to show up at the clinic and “throw [herself] at their mercy.”

But before her appointment, she read about telemedicine abortion. All that was required was a phone consultation with a doctor to establish whether she was less than 10 weeks pregnant (the limit for medication abortion’s approved use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration). Once proven, the clinic would deliver abortion pills by mail, allowing for a quiet, non-surgical procedure at home. For Terri, this was a far better option than potentially exposing herself to COVID-19 at a clinic.


USA – Abortion clinics expanding virtual options during pandemic

Abortion clinics expanding virtual options during pandemic
Providers say they're trying to work around restrictions that limit telemedicine abortion.


Abortion providers say they’re seeing heightened demand for telemedicine abortions during the coronavirus pandemic, and providers are preparing for a growing number of virtual visits as social distancing measures continue.

These clinics are looking to video call apps like Facetime and AI-powered chatbots to make prescribing abortion medication almost entirely virtual during the pandemic. Some providers are dialing back in-person visits and forgoing ultrasounds and pelvic exams they’ve typically required before prescribing abortion pills virtually.


UK- Coronavirus: Department of Health says temporary changes to abortion law were ‘published in error’

Coronavirus: Department of Health says temporary changes to abortion law were ‘published in error’
'This was published in error,' a spokesperson told The Independent

Sophie Gallagher
Mar 23, 2020

The Department of Health says reported changes to the abortion law, that would allow women to take both pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, are not going ahead.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told The Independent: “This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulations.”