Patients in DC, MD, VA can now get abortion medication by mail


FILE – This Sept. 22, 2010 file photo shows bottles of abortion pills at a clinic in Des Moines, Iowa. The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 loosened some restrictions on the pill mifepristone, allowing it to be dispensed by more pharmacies. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, file)

MARYLAND (WDVM) — A landmark decision from the FDA earlier this month allows patients seeking medication abortion care to do so using telehealth services, something that was just temporary during the pandemic, now made permanent.

Some states are still restricting access to this kind of care, but in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, you can now receive abortion medication, known as mifepristone, through the mail after getting approval from a doctor during a virtual visit.

The medication typically arrives in your mailbox within one to three days of an appointment.

Melissa Grant is the COO of Carafem, which provides this service. She says this move will have a major impact on increasing access to abortion care in rural communities.

“Rural people have traditionally less access to all kinds of health care, and you couple that with the idea that there aren’t that many abortion providers, that means the problem is even worse. So, what we’re looking at are people who would have to travel a significant distance outside from where they live in order to seek care. That places a barrier in front of rural people, low-income people, and BIPOC people,” said Grant.

Canada already allows medication abortion by mail. Studies showed no increased risk of receiving abortion medication by mail versus receiving it in a traditional, in-person setting.

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