Fast Company: The wave of restrictive abortion bans may force telemedicine providers to get more creative

by Pavithra Mohan

… What many people don’t realize is that medication abortion pills were approved by the FDA nearly 20 years ago—albeit with a number of restrictions—and are much more common in other countries. “Abortion pills themselves are not very well known in the U.S., and the use is very low when compared to other countries,” says Elisa Wells, the cofounder of Plan C, a platform that provides detailed information on medication abortions and reviews on abortion pill providers. “So you wonder, why is that? Why is it such a popular method elsewhere? And I think it’s in part because of the restrictions that have been placed on medication abortion.” Those regulations include not selling the abortion pill as an over-the-counter medication and requiring that providers register with a distribution company to carry the drug.

Many are now turning to online pill providers, which allows them to take charge of their bodies—and don’t require any in-person consultations or medical tests. For people in states with three or fewer abortion clinics, or who are far from healthcare of any kind, telemedicine options like TelAbortion may not be realistic (or available anytime soon). What many of them can benefit from, however, is the freedom to purchase safe, legitimate abortion pills online—something countless individuals are already doing through Aid Access, an organization selling abortion pills run by a physician named Rebecca Gomperts. (It’s also the online provider with the highest rating, according to Plan C, and offers the option of an online medical consultation.)

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