Women in the U.S. can now safely get the abortion pill by mail–here's how
Reproductive rights in the United States are being challenged on an almost daily basis—in no small part because conservatives currently control all three branches of the federal government. In particular, Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court has caused many pro-choice advocates to worry about the future of abortion access. But there is some good news: U.S. citizens can now safely receive abortion pills in the mail with an online service called Aid Access.
According to The Atlantic, Aid Access will provide medication abortions—also known as abortion pills—to any U.S. mailing address for a suggested fee of $95. The new service was created by a doctor named Rebecca Gomperts, who previously founded Women on Web, a nonprofit that provides abortion pills to people living in countries where abortion access is limited. Aid Access has been operating since about April, but Gomperts has kept it low-profile.
Like with Women on Web, Aid Access users will complete a short, online screening to make sure they’re eligible for a medication abortion (which should be taken within the first nine weeks of pregnancy), at which point Gomperts writes and fills prescriptions for the pills herself. Gomperts told The Atlantic that she provides instructions to each user, and that patients can Skype or call her help desk with any questions.
To get a consultation with Aid Access, you can go to aidaccess.org, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Gomperts told The Atlantic that Women on Web had never extended its services to the U.S. because she worried that anti-abortion groups would get it shut down. This concern led her to found Aid Access as a separate site once she realized that abortions were becoming more difficult to access in her home country.
Although ordering abortion medication off of the internet might sound scary, studies have shown that online abortion pills are safe. In 2017, a study conducted by the University of Texas found that out of 1,000 women who purchased abortion pills online, 95% followed the instructions correctly.
We’re heartened to see activists like Gomperts work to keep abortion accessible to everyone in these scary times. It’s another reminder that heroes don’t always wear capes.