Inside telemedicine’s rocky road to bring abortion care into the 21st century.
Updated May. 28, 2022
As Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance, telemedicine startups offering mail-order abortion pills are scrambling to meet surges in demand for remote abortion care across the United States. These sleek, modern tech companies like Hey Jane, Just the Pill, and Carafem claim to offer safe, seamless, and effective abortion care at a distance.
Leah Coplon, a nurse midwife, abortion provider, and director of clinical operations at tele-abortion company Abortion on Demand, told The Daily Beast that countless patients remind her of the essential nature of this digital approach—patients who are living with abusive partners and are stealthily obtaining pills, patients in rural areas of the country where travelling to a clinic poses challenges, young people who do not feel safe disclosing their need for care, and those with common everyday obstacles like getting time off work, childcare, or transportation.
With SCOTUS decision looming, confusion and fear hinder post-Roe plans.
By ALICE MIRANDA OLLSTEIN and MEGAN MESSERLY
Mail-order abortion pills could help millions of people discretely terminate their pregnancies should the Supreme Court strike down Roe v. Wade in the coming months, providing a way to circumvent mounting state-imposed restrictions.
But the majority of patients and many doctors remain in the dark or misinformed about the pills, how to obtain them, where to seek follow-up care and how to avoid landing in legal jeopardy, according to medical groups, abortion-rights advocates and national polls.
The FDA has dropped a requirement for the abortion drug mifepristone to be picked up in person – but some Republicans states are clamping down
Thu 7 Apr 2022
On Tuesday, Oklahoma became the latest state to pass a bill to make performing an abortion a felony, punishable, in this case, by 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The bill is expected to be signed into law by the governor, creating an even larger group of people – about 7.7 million between Texas and Oklahoma – who will have to leave their home state if they want an abortion.
Republican legislators are passing restrictions and bans on abortion, in expectation of a supreme court decision in a crucial abortion rights case expected in June. Until then, abortion remains legal, albeit severely restricted in some cases, across the US.
Providers have seen a surge in interest in online purchases of abortion pills since the state's near-total ban went into effect.
Sept. 25, 2021 By Rebecca Shabad
WASHINGTON — K.T. Volkova got a positive pregnancy test just days before Texas' controversial law banning most abortions took effect.
The 23-year-old, who identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, was nearly six weeks pregnant and immediately knew they wanted an abortion. But Volkova was already on the cusp of the limit set by the new law, which bars in-clinic abortions after the detection of a fetal cardiac activity, or as early as six weeks.
Governor Greg Abbott’s actions sparked outrage from reproductive rights advocates in a state that recently passed another restrictive bill
Wed 22 Sep 2021
By the end of the year Texas may have even more restrictions on the ability to get an abortion after its Republican governor, Greg Abbott, quietly signed into law new restrictions banning the mail-order provision of abortion medication seven weeks into pregnancy.
The law prevents providers from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs more than seven weeks into pregnancy, instead of 10 weeks, the current limit. It takes effect on 2 December.
Feb 27, 2021
Last month, the Supreme Court voted to ban the abortion pill, which is used to induce a miscarriage in people who are up to 11 weeks pregnant, from mail order during the pandemic.
The move makes the abortion pill the only prescription medication to have such restrictions.
Accessing the medications online may be relatively straightforward, but self-managed abortion exists in a dangerous legal gray zone in this country.
Feb 8, 2021
Last October I found myself in a situation familiar to a lot of people: at home
and on a Zoom meeting for work when I heard an insistent knocking at my door.
At first I mistook it for my rowdy cat, since in my nearly year-long quarantine
practically no one has knocked on my door. I muted my call and ran to answer,
laptop in hand. I opened the door and immediately the person on the other side
shoved a pen into my hand. I had a package and I needed to sign for it.
I looked at the bare envelope, with no return
address and illegible scrawl on the sticker. I noticed the tiny red text that
read, “Personal supply of Rx medicines.” At once I knew what this package was.
Inside were medications, prescribed in Austria, filled in India.
Mail-Order Abortion Pills Shouldn’t Be More Regulated Than Viagra
By: Robin Marty
November 18, 2018
With insurance costs skyrocketing, medical companies are doing everything they can to make health care more affordable — like reducing resources needed for minor medical interactions. Technology is helping to cut costs, with telemed appointments and drug delivery services replacing traditional doctors visits and pharmacy stops.
And that low-cost and easy distribution is coming to reproductive health care, too.