USA – For-Profit Abortion Telemedicine Start-Ups Are Proliferating in Wake of “Roe”

Garnet Henderson, Truthout
November 26, 2022

In 2020, a federal judge ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must suspend its requirement that patients pick up mifepristone, one of the pills used in medication abortion, in person. After some back-and-forth under the Trump administration, the FDA permanently repealed the rule, which had long been decried by medical experts as unnecessary, in 2021.

This opened the door for providers to send abortion pills by mail in all but the 19 states that outlaw provision of abortion via telemedicine. (Many of those same states now ban abortion entirely.) This regulation change, along with increased popular interest in abortion access following Roe’s overturn, has led to a proliferation of telemedicine companies offering abortion pills. Some of these companies are run by people with prior experience in abortion care and connections in the reproductive health, rights and justice movements; others are not. Regardless, some abortion access advocates are raising concerns about whether the rise of for-profit telemedicine companies is the best way to serve abortion seekers.

Continued: https://truthout.org/articles/for-profit-abortion-telemedicine-start-ups-are-proliferating-in-the-wake-of-roe/


USA – The Other Abortion Pill

In the U.S., medication abortion usually consists of two drugs. One of them has always mattered more.|

By Patrick Adams
SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

In the months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, demand for medication abortion has soared. The method already accounted for more than half of all abortions in the United States before the Court’s decision; now reproductive-rights activists and sites such as Plan C, which shares information about medication abortion by mail, are fielding an explosion in interest in abortion pills. As authorized by the FDA, medication abortion consists of two drugs. The first one, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for a pregnancy to continue. The second, misoprostol, brings on contractions of the uterus that expel its contents. The combination is, according to studies conducted in the U.S., somewhere between 95 percent and 99 percent effective in ending a pregnancy and is extremely safe.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2022/09/abortion-pill-misoprostol-effectiveness/671465/


21 Years After FDA Approval, Abortion Pill Is More Critical Than Ever

With the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the fight for access to the abortion pill has become a matter of life and death.

9/27/2021
by CARRIE N. BAKER

Twenty-one years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the abortion pill mifepristone for distribution in the United States. As states are now passing laws to ban abortion and the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the abortion pill is what will make a post-Roe world very different from the pre-Roe world, when thousands of women died each year from illegal abortions, and many more were left permanently harmed by unsafe and illegal abortions. 

Abortion pills are safe and effective, widely accessible online and easy to use. A grassroots movement led by the organization Plan C is now working to ensure that women across the country know how to get abortion pills and how to use them.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/09/27/fda-approval-abortion-pill-anniversary-medication-abortion-biden-texas-ban/


These Hawaii Doctors Are Fighting Guam’s Abortion Law

Abortions are legal in Guam, but women have no access to them because of a lack of local providers and rules requiring in-person consultations for the procedures.

By Eleni Avendaño
May 9, 2021

Women in Guam who want an abortion are being forced to come to Hawaii or travel elsewhere for the procedure since the island’s only abortion provider left a few years ago.

But two Hawaii physicians and the American Civil Liberties Union are trying to convince a Guam court that women in the U.S. territory should be able to get abortions using medication prescribed remotely instead of having to travel for an in-person appointment. A Guam judge denied a preliminary injunction last week and the case is now pending in District Court.

Continued: https://www.civilbeat.org/2021/05/these-hawaii-doctors-are-fighting-guams-abortion-law/


USA – Why Abortion Pills Are the Next Frontier in the Battle Over Reproductive Rights

BY ABIGAIL ABRAMS
APRIL 13, 2021

The Biden Administration is removing restrictions on mailing abortion pills during the COVID-19 pandemic, a reversal from the Trump Administration’s policy that marks a new phase in the national debate over abortion rights.

The move temporarily changes longstanding Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules governing mifepristone—one of two drugs used to terminate early pregnancies—that required patients to pick up the pills in-person from a medical provider. Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock sent a letter to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine on Monday saying that her agency reviewed recent evidence and found that using telemedicine to provide abortion pills would not increase risks and would help patients avoid potential exposure to COVID-19.

Continued: https://time.com/5954429/fda-biden-abortion-pills/


USA – Covid Put Remote Abortion to the Test. Supporters Say It Passed.

Medication abortion was briefly available online in some states, but a court ruling blocked it. Advocates want it back.

BY REBECCA GRANT
04.05.2021

LAST SUMMER, Cindy Adam and Lauren Dubey received the news they had hoped for, but hadn’t expected to get so soon. Their new telemedicine clinic would be able to offer remote medication abortion services, at least for the time being.

Medication abortion — which most commonly involves taking two medications, 24 to 48 hours apart, during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy — has been available in the U.S. since 2000. But, despite a growing chorus of advocates and experts who say remote access is just as safe as in-clinic care, the Food and Drug Administration requires providers to dispense mifepristone, the first of the two medications, inside the walls of a clinic, hospital, or medical office, citing the risk of complications. Most abortion providers interpreted this language to mean they could not mail mifepristone to patients’ homes, rendering fully remote abortion care impossible.

Continued: https://undark.org/2021/04/05/digital-abortion-access/


Why Some Women Might Want ‘Missed-Period Pills’

Abortion drugs administered as early as 28 days after a woman’s last period can offer comfort in uncertainty to those who want it.

By Patrick Adams
Dec. 3, 2020

The pregnancy test is one of the most ubiquitous home health care products in America. What resembled a child’s chemistry set when it first arrived on the market in 1977 is now the widely available wand. Today, dozens of different devices promise to promptly deliver what any possibly-pregnant person is assumed to want: knowledge of her status.

Now a new study suggests that for all of the ease and convenience of the at-home test, a significant number of women would prefer not to know. Given the choice, they would opt instead to take two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to terminate a pregnancy. The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the effects of progesterone, a hormone without which the lining of the uterus begins to break down, while the second drug, misoprostol, induces contractions of the uterus that expel its contents.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/03/opinion/pregnancy-missed-period-pills.html


Telemedicine Abortions Are Safe — So Why Are They Still So Hard To Get?

ELIZABETH GULINOLAST
OCTOBER 20, 2020

Katie realized she was pregnant during the first week of April 2020. She decided pretty quickly that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. She already had two kids, and she’d just been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The condition was still uncontrolled, which made her pregnancy high-risk. But it was just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. She was in full lockdown, and she wasn’t sure if she could get an abortion.

"I was Googling abortions," she tells Refinery29. "My biggest thing was not wanting to actually go to a place." Besides being afraid of catching the virus, the nearest clinic to Katie was six hours away from her home in New Mexico, and she wasn’t sure how she’d find the time to get there.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/10/10015435/medical-abortion-pill-telabortion-access


USA – Abortion Regulation in the Age of COVID-19

Both abortion advocates and opponents have used the COVID-19 crisis to further their policy goals.

Carrie N. Baker
Sep 21, 2020

The gendered dimensions of the political response to the COVID-19 crisis are manifesting clearly in efforts to close abortion clinics, as well as in campaigns led by doctors, lawyers, and reproductive rights advocates to expand access to telemedicine abortion during the pandemic and beyond.

Anti-abortion politicians in states across the country have used the COVID-19 pandemic to attempt to restrict abortion, arguing that abortion is not essential health care and that banning the procedure will conserve personal protective equipment for COVID-19 cases. In March and April of 2020, 12 states tried to restrict abortion, including Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia, among others. Legislators in Kentucky passed a bill to allow the state’s Attorney General to block abortion access during COVID-19, but the Kentucky governor vetoed the bill.
Continued: https://www.theregreview.org/2020/09/21/baker-abortion-regulation-covid-19/


Abortion by pill is becoming more widespread in America

Changes to medical technology will change the politics of the country’s original culture war

The Economist
Sep 19th 2020 edition

When women used to tell Susan Long (not her real name), a doctor in Washington state, that they wanted to terminate a pregnancy, she would refer them to an abortion clinic. Today, they need not even walk into her office: after an online consultation, she prescribes two pills, which she posts, along with instructions on how to take them several hours apart.

It is difficult to exaggerate the benefit for “innumerable” women of being able to have an abortion at home, without having to arrange a trip to a clinic, she says, describing some of them. The university student living with her conservative parents, hundreds of miles from the nearest abortion clinic. The woman whose violent husband is vehemently pro-life. Single mothers, strapped for cash and child care. Those whose frail health prevents them risking exposure to covid-19 at a doctor’s office.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/09/19/abortion-by-pill-is-becoming-more-widespread-in-america