How to Access Abortion Pills by Mail — and What to Know When You Do

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. WadeAccelerated efforts to criminalize abortion The United States. At least one state has laws banning abortion. eight states Since the decision was made in late June. More states are expected to restrict access soon.

There is one method of abortion that states will not be able to eliminate: medication abortion. The abortion pills available — mifepristone and misoprostol — are safer than Tylenol Since then, they have been approved and endorsed by the FDA 2000. They are not recommended for daily use. up to 12 weeks of pregnancy However, abortion pills will not be used for women who are still very early in their pregnancy. Mifepristone blocks Progesterone is a hormone that prevents pregnancy from growing inside the uterus. Misoprostol is a cause cramping and bleeding To empty the uterus. Misoprostol can be purchased over the counter It is also used to treat ulcers in other countries.

“People deserve to have access to clinic support regardless of what state they live in,” said Ushma Upadhyay, an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco who studies abortion, medication abortion, and telehealth abortion services. “Health is a basic human right and should be accessible to everyone.”

While states may ban abortion altogether — or specifically ban telemedicine, self-managed abortions, or sending abortion pills in the mail — practically speaking, these bans will be difficult to enforce. Illegal drugs such as fentanyl or LSD are often sent by mail. Federal and local governments generally have this capability. not been able to stop it.

“How are they gonna stop people from getting it in the mail?” said Laurie Bertram Roberts, executive director of the Yellowhammer Fund, an abortion fund and reproductive justice organization that assists people in the Deep South. “You can’t stop abortion. You can’t stop people from being pregnant and not wanting to be pregnant. That’s what history shows us.”

We spoke to experts to create this short explanation on how to get abortion pills by mail, their legal risks and how to protect your self from them.

Can I get Abortion Pills via Mail?

It all depends on where you live. Minimum eight states Most or all abortions have been banned. Expect more state bans in the near future. Nineteen states have already banned state governments. passed restrictions It effectively makes it impossible for telemedicine to be used in that state to obtain an abortion. Some states, such as Louisiana and TennesseeSending abortion pills in the mail is a crime, but others, such ArizonaIt is now illegal to give abortion medication.

Check out the state guides for more information about what is legal in your particular state. news sources or organizations like Planned ParenthoodThe Guttmacher InstituteThe Center for Reproductive RightsOr the Kaiser Family Foundation. You can always call the Repro Legal Helpline To speak to an attorney Get it for free.

In over 20 statesTelemedicine and in-clinic visits are legal ways to obtain abortion pills. Many people prefer telemedicine to access abortion services, as it is more convenient and private than in-clinic visits. With telemedicine, patients often do not need to find childcare or travel long distances to see a healthcare provider, and they don’t have to risk running into someone they know or being hounded by anti-abortion protesters outside of a clinic. These are some of the places that offer telemedicine to assist with abortions. HeyJane, Just the Pill, Choix, Carefem, Abortion on Demand, Pills by Post.

If you live in a state where you cannot obtain an abortion, you can still get abortion pills by driving to the nearest state where telemedicine is legal, taking your appointment there, and sending the medication to an address in that state, like the hotel you’re staying at. Another method is to use mail forwarding Services to send abortion pills to an address where it is legal. The mail will then be redirected to your actual address. Plan CA campaign to inform the public about, which is run by social justice activists and public health advocates, has been launched. step-by-step accounts On its website, you can find information about mail forwarding as well as other options.

“We have reports from patients in restricted areas — one in Texas who used the service to have pills mailed to a friend in Illinois, who then mailed it to her,” said Upadhyay, who is currently completing a study looking at the safety of three telehealth clinics, which analyzes data from over 6,000 patients. “We know that patients are getting creative. Patients are having the medications mailed to a post office box just across the border, like New Mexico if they’re from Texas. Or they’ll get a hotel room near the border and do the telehealth appointment.”

Another method to obtain abortion pills in restricted countries is to use Aid Access, A nonprofit founded by Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch physician. Aid Access connects patients In restricted countries, doctors in Europe can fill prescriptions for abortion medication by contacting a trusted pharmacy in India. The pills are sent by mail. The medication typically arrives in one to three weeks and costs about $110, though financial help is available for people who need care but can’t afford it.

“Aid Access is reliable, credible, and will mail to addresses in restricted states,” said Upadhyay. “It’s very safe and very effective. My concern is that patients often want support when they’re going through an abortion. My fear is that people will go to emergency rooms in larger numbers and will be criminalized that way.”

Some online pharmacies You can also will ship abortion medication Without a prescription from any doctor. Plan C lists pharmacies that they have tested the medication and confirmed that the orders were correct. They do not own the pharmacies and cannot guarantee their authenticity.

There are many options for help, no matter which route you take. Even if your state bans abortion, there are organizations that can help. If you have any questions or concerns about your abortion, you can contact them. M+A Hotline (833-246-2632): A confidential and secure telephone and text hotline that provides support for miscarriages and abortions. It is staffed with licensed volunteer clinicians. Contact us if you have any legal questions. Repro Legal Helpline (848) 868-2812, a confidential and free helpline. If you require financial assistance, you can. contact your local abortion fund Call us at National Abortion Federation Hotline 800-722-9100, a toll-free multi-lingual hotline for referrals to abortion and financial assistance in America

What are the Risks?

According to the World Health Organization, abortion pills are safe for 12 weeks of pregnancy. They may not be safe for women who are pregnant. certain circumstancesYou may need to have an intrauterine (IUD) or ectopic child.

People who get an abortion in states that prohibit it are also eligible risk criminalization. While most abortion bans Currently target providers, three states — Oklahoma, Nevada, and South Carolina — do explicitly ban self-managed abortions. Even if they do, RoeWhen the law was in place, police officers and prosecutors often found creative ways for people to be charged with causing their miscarriage. According to an analysis National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) has reported that more than 1,700 people were convicted for their pregnancy outcomes between 1973 to 2020. Prosecutors all across the country have charged people People who have had stillbirths, miscarriages, or murder of a child, as well as those who use drugs, improper disposal of fetal remains, misuse of a corpse, and/or have had murder, manslaughter, child abuse, murder, or manslaughter. You may also be criminalized if a friend from another state sends you the drugs.

When someone else reports an abortion to the police, it is often a criminal offense. This could be a partner, a relative or a provider. If you are able to obtain an abortion in a ban state, you can reduce the risk of being criminalized by not telling as many people as possible.

“When it comes to legal risk, what we know from cases that we have already seen is that people often face legal consequences when they share information about their pregnancy outcomes with people and those people then report them to the police,” said Elizabeth Ling, senior helpline counsel for If/When/How, nonprofit, reproductive-focused legal aid network that runs the Repro Legal Helpline.

“The legal risks really depend on a person’s specific situation, as well as their identity,” Ling added. “The risk of criminalization is and always has been greater for those communities who have experienced greater state surveillance in this country: Black people, people of color, indigenous people, marginalized people, disabled people, and LGBTQ people.”

Your provider does not have to know that you are having an abortion. Miscarriages and abortions are acceptable. indistinguishable You can talk to one another and get help from a healthcare provider, even if you have not told them that you have terminated your pregnancy. You can ask questions about your abortion while you are experiencing it. contact the M+A Hotline by phone or text.

How can I protect myself?

Limit the number people you tell about your case. Only tell people you are comfortable with. If you have any questions, you can rely on the M+A Hotline or the Repro Legal Helpline for assistance. Practice good digital safety Security by opting out of targeted advertisementsYou can use search engines like DuckDuckGo do not save your searches Signal encryption messaging app, turning off, to their servers location sharing Use strong password protection on all your devices. The Digital Defense Fund has an detailed guide It is packed with useful digital security tips that will help you keep your healthcare decisions private. The same goes for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

It is important to use browsers that do not store your search history and messaging apps that keep your conversations private because prosecutors have used people’s search history and text messages against them in the past. In 2018, prosecutors used the following: internet search misoprostol could be used to indict a woman for second degree murder. 2015: Prosecutors used text messages To convict a woman of feticide or child neglect.

“I would implore folks to use encrypted messaging apps, to be careful who they share information with, and to protect their digital security and digital footprint and be very intentional about that,” said Dana Sussman, acting executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a legal organization that defends the rights of pregnant people from criminalization. “Contact us or contact trusted resources to get information. Do not give your devices to law enforcement. Make them get a warrant.”