Moore suspects that some anti-abortion lawmakers will eventually try to enact laws banning the mailing of abortion pills. First class packages shipped by US Postal Service are protected by the Fourth Amendment and can only be opened with a search warrant if a postal inspector suspects the content violates federal law — and abortion pills remain legal under federal law, at least for now.
People access abortion services through telehealth, no matter where they live.
Ultimately, access to any type of abortion will come down to weighing individual risk, as the legal landscape fluctuates from state to state. “The biggest issue is going to be the fear these laws instill in people,” Elisa Wells, MPH, co-founder and co-director of Diet Can advocacy group that studies how people access abortion pills in the United States, says SELF.
If you live in a state without restrictions on medical abortion, you can get abortion pills in person from a health care provider who prescribes them. (You can find a list of providers near you at Diet C.) In these states, you may also receive abortion pills in the mail after consulting with a healthcare provider through one of the many US-based telehealth services, including Decanter, Hi Jane, Choiceand just the pill. These providers are almost entirely asynchronous. For example, with Hey Jane, you don’t need to schedule a phone call, but rather fill out a medical form and consult a practitioner using encrypted messaging. The medicine usually arrives within three to four days in an unmarked envelope, but you should always confirm these details with your supplier as the lead time may vary slightly with each service.
In states where abortion is banned or restricted, some have found possible telehealth solutions. For example, some people rent a « virtual mailbox » from a mail forwarding service (such as Mail PostScan) in a state where telehealth abortions are permitted. They then use that address on forms to have pills shipped to their doorstep without expensive travel, Wells says. This way you are, at the very least, always in contact with a health care provider. (Plan C offers a clear guide for this process.) “When we talk to lawyers, they say everyone seems to be complying with the regulations that affect them,” Wells says, adding that authorities can still find other ways to penalize people who use this strategy.
HelpAccess is another telemedicine option that is becoming popular, The New York Times reports. The Austria-based nonprofit, run by Dutch physician Rebecca Gomperts, ships abortion pills to you wherever you live in the United States (in fact, to research shows that the organization received more than 57,000 inquiries from people in all 50 states between March 2018 and March 2020.) Depending on the state you live in, consultations are done with a US-based doctor or a doctor based in Europe. For people who live in states that require a European doctor, the drugs are shipped from a pharmacy in India. These pills usually take two to three weeks to arrive, which can be an inconvenience, depending on how far along you are. Under the Trump administration, the The FDA sent Aid Access a warning letter to cease its activities, but the organization refused and sued the federal agency put an end to any legal proceedings; it is it’s unclear if state or federal prosecutors have plans to file another cease trade request in the future. (Again, it’s important to research your state’s abortion laws before making a decision.)
Will access to abortion via telehealth be sufficient in a post-deer world?
Although it is extremely important to preserve access to abortion pills via telehealth, these pills are not a panacea for abortion care in a post-natal period.deer world. Some people prefer to go to a health center or prefer an abortion procedure, which is colloquially known as a surgical abortion, Melissa Grant, COO of the telehealth abortion provider Decanter, says SELF. “These options should be available,” she says.