USA – Getting abortion pills by mail is already more complicated than it might seem

Most states have at least one restriction on medication abortion beyond FDA rules. Overturning Roe v. Wade would further limit access.

May 12, 2022
By Aria Bendix

Google searches for the term "abortion pills" rose to an all-time high on May 3, the day Politico published a leaked draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The two-drug regimen of medication abortion, as it's clinically known, has been available since the Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2000. People have been able to get the pills by mail since April 2021, when the FDA suspended enforcement of a requirement that the first pill be administered in person. The agency made that option permanent in December.


The Anti-Abortion Movement’s Post-Roe Agenda: Inconvenient, Illegal, Unthinkable

In the event that Roe v. Wade falls, anti-abortion advocates will almost certainly look to create broad regions of the U.S. where abortion is prohibited – and to limit its practice in places where it isn’t.

By Kaia Hubbard
April 8, 2022

Supporters of abortion access feared the worst when Texas lawmakers shocked the country with a law banning abortion beyond six weeks of pregnancy, standing in direct opposition to the precedent established in the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling. And the reduction in abortions in the first few months after SB 8 was palpable.

Since then, the situation in Texas has been heralded as a harbinger of what a post-Roe reality may bring nationwide. But more than six months after the law took effect that not only prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected but deputizes private citizens as its enforcer, studies have pointed to a much smaller reduction in abortions than expected among the state’s residents due to alternate routes of accessing the services. Texans are still getting abortions – by going out of state or by ordering pills online.


‘A Massive Ripple Effect’: Oklahoma Banning Abortion Will Worsen a Crisis

One Oklahoma abortion provider says she keeps "finding staff members crying in corners."

By Susan Rinkunas
April 4, 2022

Oklahoma, the state to which droves of Texans have been fleeing to access abortion, is itself on the verge of banning abortion. Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, a provider in both states, could tell during her shifts last week that the impending laws were weighing on the minds of her colleagues. “They’ve been taking care of folks through the fallout,” she told Jezebel Thursday. “It has hit them so differently that now this is their home that it’s gonna happen to, too. I kept turning a corner and finding staff members crying in corners, just trying to really emotionally process what they’re about to go through.”

In the spring of 2020, after Texas Governor Greg Abbott dubiously shut down abortion clinics by executive order, Dr. Moayedi, who’d been providing abortions in Texas since 2004, realized it was time to get licensed in neighboring Oklahoma.


A covert network of activists is preparing for the end of Roe

What will the future of abortion in America look like?

By Jessica Bruder
APRIL 4, 2022

One bright afternoon in early January, on a beach in Southern California, a young woman spread what looked like a very strange picnic across an orange polka-dot towel: A mason jar. A rubber stopper with two holes. A syringe without a needle. A coil of aquarium tubing and a one-way valve. A plastic speculum. Several individually wrapped sterile cannulas—thin tubes designed to be inserted into the body—which resembled long soda straws. And, finally, a three-dimensional scale model of the female reproductive system.

The two of us were sitting on the sand. The woman, whom I’ll call Ellie, had suggested that we meet at the beach; she had recently recovered from COVID-19, and proposed the open-air setting for my safety. She also didn’t want to risk revealing where she lives—and asked me to withhold her name—because of concerns about harassment or violence from anti-abortion extremists.


The FDA made mail-order abortion pills legal. Access is still a nightmare.

Restrictive states have already set their sights on a new wave of telehealth companies that were supposed to be a panacea for a post-Roe world.

By Julia Craven 
Mar 29, 2022

When Emma found out she was pregnant in February, it was too late for an in-clinic abortion.

She estimated that she was at six weeks, but Texas, a bastion of retrograde abortion policy, bans the procedure at roughly that mark, so any local options were out of the question. Her local Planned Parenthood told her to prepare to travel out of state and offered to connect her with a clinic. Emma, who takes medication that makes her cycle irregular, wanted an ultrasound to confirm her recollection of the gestation age. But the clinic didn’t have an appointment for the next two weeks.


USA – As medication abortion becomes dominant, red states restrict pills

March 29, 2022
Sarah McCammon

For most of the almost 50 years since the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, clinics have been the focus of the battle over abortion rights.

Protesters gather outside on sidewalks. And Republican state lawmakers try to regulate what happens inside — through laws restricting which healthcare providers can perform abortions, the kind of counseling required and which procedures are allowed.


Abortion pills are just as safe to prescribe based on a patient’s medical history as after an in-person exam, new research finds

Published: March 21
Ushma Upadhyay

For many people, accessing abortion care can be a major challenge. Abortion services are usually only available in certain clinics with specialized equipment like ultrasounds, often requiring long-distance travel to get there. When medication abortion, or abortion with pills, was introduced to the U.S. in 2000, it offered a more accessible option to end pregnancy.

However, medication abortion was initially highly regulated and could only be dispensed in person at abortion clinics. Guidelines also required an ultrasound to confirm that the patient was less than 11 weeks pregnant and not ectopic, meaning having a pregnancy where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus and can result in a life-threatening miscarriage.


USA – Abortion Access Is Infrastructure

When the FDA opened up abortion access where telemedicine is available, it left behind patients who live in areas that lack strong broadband infrastructure.

Mar 17, 2022
Shalini Raichur, Rewire News

The ability to stay home during an ongoing global pandemic and still get health care is a privilege not everyone is afforded in the United States, and the digital divide separates those who can use the internet to access a range of health services, such as telemedicine, and those who cannot.

Despite gains in increasing access to broadband internet across the country, rural people continue to be left behind. Rural adults are less likely than suburban and urban adults to have in-home broadband, less likely to own traditional computers or tablets, and more likely to report major problems accessing high-speed internet.


Telemedicine services for improving safe abortion accessibility in India: Need of the hour

February 12, 2022
Debanjana Choudhuri, gender and climate justice specialist.

The spread of novel coronavirus has convulsed every aspect of life all over the world. With life coming to a standstill due to repeated lockdowns, the pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of not only our society, but also of our healthcare system. India is one of the nations, which has been severely impacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Crucial measures, such as imposition of lockdowns, were taken to contain the spread of the virus, however, the decreased mobility also resulted in higher incidences of intimate partner violence, changes in migrant living patterns, delay in accessing other healthcare services including contraceptive and safe abortion care and potential changes to decisions about parenting.

Contrariwise, telemedicine was a silver-lining during this period, and it revolutionised access to healthcare services worldwide. India too acknowledged the credibility and viability of these services by introducing telemedicine guidelines. Today, from covid tests to other screenings telemedicine in India, is flourishing each day in every sphere. But is it the same for safe abortion services? Sadly, the answer is NO! Although India recognised the essentiality of contraception and safe abortion services, the telemedicine guidelines reflected otherwise, as it still does not include abortion under its purview.


USA – Progress in the bid to make abortion pills more widely available

The FDA has lifted some restrictions on mifepristone. It should lift them all.

By Rachel Rebouché, Greer Donley, and David S. Cohen
December 22, 2021

Earlier this month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took the noteworthy step of removing a restriction on access to the drug mifepristone: Patients will no longer be required to collect the drug — the first of a two-drug regimen that induces abortion before 10 weeks of pregnancy — at a health care facility. The federal agency’s move appears to give a welcome boost to abortion access, but the FDA could and should have gone further.

When the FDA approved mifepristone in 2000, it dictated how the medication is prescribed and dispensed. The broad consensus among experts is that the FDA restriction on how patients could access the drug was unnecessary — mifepristone has a better safety record than penicillin and Viagra — and unique, given how other drugs of comparable risk are regulated.