Moore suspects that some anti-abortion lawmakers will ultimately attempt to enact legal guidelines that prohibit sending abortion drugs by the mail. First-class packages mailed by the US Postal Service are protected by the Fourth Amendment and may solely be opened with a search warrant if a postal inspector suspects the contents violate federal regulation—and abortion drugs stay authorized beneath federal regulation, not less than for now.
Individuals are accessing telehealth abortion companies no matter the place they dwell.
In the end, accessing any sort of abortion will come right down to weighing particular person threat because the authorized panorama fluctuates state by state. “The most important challenge goes to be the worry these legal guidelines instill in folks,” Elisa Wells, MPH, cofounder and codirector of Plan C, an advocacy group that researches how persons are accessing abortion drugs within the US, tells SELF.
In the event you dwell in a state with out restrictions on medicine abortion, you may get abortion drugs in individual from a well being care supplier who prescribes them. (You’ll find an inventory of suppliers close to you at Plan C.) In these states, you too can get abortion drugs mailed to you following a session with a well being care supplier by one among many US-based telehealth companies, together with Carafem, Hey Jane, Choix, and Just the Pill. These suppliers are virtually totally asynchronous. For example, with Hey Jane, you don’t must schedule a telephone name however, as an alternative, fill out a medical kind and seek the advice of with a practitioner utilizing encrypted messaging. The medicine often arrives inside three to 4 days in an unmarked envelope, however you need to all the time affirm these particulars along with your supplier as timing might range barely with every service.
In states the place abortion is banned or restricted, some have discovered potential work-arounds in relation to telehealth. For instance, sure folks lease a “digital mailbox” from a mail forwarding service (resembling PostScan Mail) in a state the place telehealth abortions are allowed. They then use this tackle on types to get drugs shipped to their houses with out pricey journey, Wells says. This fashion, you’re, on the very least nonetheless in contact with a well being care supplier. (Plan C offers a clear guide for this process.) “Once we speak to attorneys, they are saying everybody seems to be complying with the rules that pertain to them,” Wells says, including that authorities should discover different methods to penalize individuals who use this technique.
AidAccess is one other telemedicine possibility that’s changing into widespread, The New York Times stories. The Austria-based nonprofit, run by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts, ships abortion drugs to you irrespective of the place you reside within the US (The truth is, research reveals the group acquired greater than 57,000 requests from folks in all 50 states between March 2018 and March 2020.) Relying on the state you reside in, consultations are carried out with both a health care provider based mostly within the US or a health care provider based mostly in Europe. For individuals who dwell in states that require a European physician, the drugs are shipped from a pharmacy in India. These drugs sometimes take two to a few weeks to reach, which can be a downside, relying on how far alongside you might be. Underneath the Trump Administration, the FDA sent Aid Access a warning letter to stop operations, however the group refused and sued the federal agency to halt additional authorized motion; it’s unclear whether state or federal prosecutors have plans to position one other cease-operations request sooner or later. (Once more, it’s essential to analysis your state’s abortion legal guidelines earlier than making any resolution.)
Will telehealth abortion entry be sufficient in a post-Roe world?
Whereas preserving entry to abortion drugs by way of telehealth is extremely essential, these drugs aren’t a panacea for abortion care in a post-Roe world. Some folks choose to come back right into a well being heart or choose an abortion process, which is colloquially often called a surgical abortion, Melissa Grant, the chief working officer on the telehealth abortion supplier Carafem, tells SELF. “These choices needs to be out there,” she says.