U.S. News reports that conservative states are also working to restrict medication abortions, which can be ordered online and received by mail. According to research from pro-abortion rights organization, the Guttmacher Institute, 54 percent of U.S. abortions since 2020 have taken place via medication.
The FDA approved the medication over 20 years ago, and late last year, the federal agency revealed that people could permanently secure the medication by mail. After having a telehealth visit, women can order and receive the medication for up to 10 weeks into their pregnancies. These guidelines haven’t been sitting well with the pro-life subset, with a Guttmacher analysis saying the medication is becoming a “primary target of anti-abortion politicians and activists seeking to restrict care in and out of clinical settings.”
At least 22 states, including Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Dakota, have set limits on medication abortions, which include “prohibiting the delivery of the pills by mail, limiting provisions to physicians, limiting gestational age for use or by otherwise banning medication abortion entirely,” U.S. News writes.
Pro-lifers have dubbed the pills as “chemical abortion” and allege that it’s risky for women to take them. Once Roe has been overturned, many think anti-abortion activists will set their sights on medication abortions.
In recent months, Texas banned abortion beyond six weeks and prohibited medication abortion for a similar period and bars pills to be mailed to patients. However, women are now sidestepping those restrictions by ordering pills from overseas providers like Aid Access. While the FDA has requested that the organization stop selling products to the US, and Guttmacher said ordering pills through this channel is legally risky, Aid Access said patients are covered by U.S. mail protections because there isn’t a way to confirm that someone ingested the pills.