Healthcare Across Borders: Funding Telemedicine Abortion for People in Abortion-Ban States

“You can get on the phone with a doctor, and get abortion pills by mail within a few days,” said Healthcare Across Borders (HCAB) founder Jodi Jacobson—even in states with abortion bans.

HCAB has launched a new Abortion Pill Sustainability Fund to support shield-state clinicians serving patients in states banning abortion. Abortion services are provided to people located in states banning abortion from the six states with telemedicine provider shield laws: Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, Vermont, New York and California.

Telehealth Providers Prepare for the Future

Providers of reproductive and gender-affirming care have long been pushing for an increase in the use of telemedicine. Patients want it too. Telehealth implementation comes with decreased costs, wait times and travel. For stigmatized issues like abortion and gender-affirming care, it also ensures patients and providers alike face less harassment and makes niche treatments more widely accessible.

To understand the telehealth landscape and how it impacts reproductive care, Ms. spoke with telehealth abortion, contraceptive, and gender-affirming care providers to understand how the fall of Roe has affected their work.

Telemedicine Abortion, Explained: The Ms. Q&A with Choix’s Cindy Adam

As abortion bans mount in states across the country in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion seekers in states where the procedure is banned are increasingly turning to online telemedicine providers.

“It really helps to alleviate the stress and the barriers that come with accessing such a highly stigmatized and politicized form of care, even in the states where abortion care remains legal,” said Cindy Adam, co-founder and CEO of Choix, of telemedicine abortion. “It puts that power to decide back into the hands of the person seeking care.”

Groundbreaking Massachusetts Law Protects Telemedicine Abortion Providers Serving Patients Located in States Banning Abortion

Massachusetts just passed a sweeping new reproductive rights law. In addition to provider protections, it removes cost barriers to abortion care, expands access to third-trimester abortions in cases of grave fetal diagnosis, increases access to emergency contraception and medication abortion, and guarantees the right to gender-affirming care.

Mexican Telehealth Abortion Provider Now Serves U.S. Women: ‘We Are Here for You!’

In the wake of Dobbs, people living in states with abortion bans are finding creative ways to access abortion healthcare. For people living along the U.S. southern border, there’s a new option: Telefem—a telehealth abortion provider based in Mexico City that mails abortion pills to secure pickup locations along the U.S.–Mexico border for $150. Ms. magazine spoke with Telefem director and midwife Paula Rita Rivera about how Telefem works and why they began offering services to people from the United States.

“I want to say to the women out there: We are here for you! Don’t be afraid. We are with you till the end.”

In Absence of Roe, Healthcare Providers Have a Professional and Ethical Duty to Step Up

As the human rights crisis in the U.S. intensifies, every healthcare worker has a role in protecting people who need abortion care. We must empower ourselves, patients, and the public with accurate, actionable information to access the resources they need. Not acting in this crisis goes immediately against one of the first oaths we made joining the health professions: Do no harm.

Abortion Clinics’ Post-Roe Future: ‘We Will Be Forced to Close Our Doors Within 30 Days’

A decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is due out any day, one that feminist organizers are now sure will reverse Roe v. Wade and strip millions of their longstanding right to abortion. Clinics in protected areas are bracing for an influx of patients while those in anti-abortion states are preparing to operate in a hostile environment — or shut down completely.

“We are aware that Washington and other states where abortion is legally protected are being seen as the safety net,” said clinic director Sanchez in Washington. “And honestly, the safety net has holes in it.”

Funding Abortion Pills By Mail: ‘Abortions Don’t Wait’

When the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade later this month, clinics in states with legal abortion will be inundated with patients, creating long waits for in-clinic abortion care.

To address this anticipated influx of patients, California-based Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Fund (WRRAP) has created a new “abortion pills by mail” program to fund telehealth abortion providers in 20 states.

FDA Abortion Pill Policy May Preempt State Restrictions, Say Legal Scholars: ‘We Need to Push the Boundaries and See What Sticks’

In December of 2021, the FDA lifted some of its burdensome restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone, including the requirement that healthcare providers must meet in-person with patients to dispense the medication. Nineteen states, however, continue to impose in-person dispensing requirements.

Legal scholars and advocates are questioning the constitutionality of these additional restrictions on abortion pills.

Online Abortion Care Provider Hanna Kim of Hey Jane: ‘Everything Is Done in Your Own Time’

Hey Jane provides medication abortion for anyone who is at least 18 years old, medically eligible, up to 10 weeks pregnant, and located in New York, California, Washington, Illinois, Colorado or New Mexico.

“Doctor’s appointments can be very difficult to get. With Hey Jane, we can get medication to patients in like a day.” Hanna Kim, lead nurse for Hey Jane, told Ms. “Patients feel really cared for. I remember one email that said, ‘I felt like I was talking to a mom or a sister who had all the answers.'”