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4 ways Americans are still getting abortion pills

Banning abortion doesn’t eliminate the need for it.

Kimberly Mas is a senior producer at Vox video focused on science explainers.

In June, the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade — eliminating the federal right to abortion and giving individual states the power to decide whether abortion is legal there. As of July, many states have already banned abortion outright, and more are soon to follow. But heavily restricting or banning abortion doesn’t eliminate the need for it. And abortion care looks a bit different than it did in 1973.

Over 50 percent of legal abortions in the United States are now carried out early in pregnancy with the use of a two-medication regime known as “the abortion pill” or “medication abortion.” Most people are able to take the medication in the privacy of their own home. And in December 2021, the Food and Drug Administration permanently allowed the pills to be shipped by mail.

Even the most restrictive states have had trouble stopping the pills from being discreetly mailed to patients’ homes. While doctors who live in states where abortion is banned can’t prescribe the pills for that purpose, people in those states are finding ways to get them with the help of websites like PlanCPills.

The video above outlines some of the paths they’re taking to get the care they need in a post-Roe America.

The Miscarriage and Abortion hotline can connect people with doctors via phone or text. If/When/How can provide legal advice. They also have a reproductive legal helpline. More information can be found in the resources mentioned in the video, like Aid Access, Hey Jane, and Just the Pill.

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