Abortion Pill by Mail
We are living in a digital age where practically anything can be ordered and delivered to your doorstep. Recently, in the US, abortion-on-demand has become available through a mail-order abortion process. The abortion pill by mail can be fast, convenient, and discreet…but is it safe?
Abortions by mail were approved by the FDA during the COVID-19 public health emergency, by allowing women direct access to mifepristone, an abortion medication, through the waiving of the in-person dispensing requirement (AAPLOG, 2021). Mifepristone (Mifiprex) is a medical abortion pill that causes the termination of a pregnancy up to 10 weeks gestational age (time from last menstrual period). This medication may only be dispensed by, “specially certified doctors or other medical providers” in clinics or hospitals (The New York Times, 2021). Misoprostol is another medication that is prescribed to be taken 24-48 hours after Mifeprex. Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy.
Pregnancy dating, through medical examination, has long been standard practice to determine if a woman is able to receive abortion medications. However, a rise in telemedicine consultations provides access to abortion medication without a physical assessment, despite the risks that abortion by mail may pose. For instance, Mifepristone can potentially cause hemorrhage, tissue retention, and infection. An in-person consultation with a medical professional prior to taking a mail-order abortion pill is highly important for the following reasons:
- To accurately determine the risks for the individual patient
- To have an ultrasound to confirm exactly how far along a woman is in her pregnancy (many women are farther along than they think), to determine if the pregnancy is viable (as opposed to a miscarriage), and to rule out an ectopic pregnancy (outside the uterus). A telemedicine abortion will not terminate an ectopic pregnancy, which can be life-threatening.
- To make a plan for any complications that might arise from the abortion pill (some clinics allow women to return in person under certain circumstances, others may direct patients to the nearest emergency room)
- To make sure that the clinic prescribing the medication for an abortion is a legitimate clinic with licensed healthcare professionals and that the abortion medications being given are FDA approved
- To determine the woman’s blood type. If she is Rh negative, it is vital that she receives Rhogam with every pregnancy to reduce the chance of developing antibodies that could harm a future pregnancy.
Making an informed decision requires that the woman be made aware of all safety risks involved with abortion medication use, and an in-person consultation equips her with the knowledge she needs about what is going on in her body.
The nursing staff at AbbaCare is available to provide information on potential side effects and risks for complications of FDA abortion pill medications, as well as assessing essential medical information through lab-quality pregnancy testing and ultrasound. A holistic approach to care is implemented for the overall physical and mental health of the client; physical and emotional effects of abortion are discussed and the client is empowered to make her pregnancy decision based on accurate, personalized information that is provided in a non-judgmental manner.
Protecting your health is important to us. Call 540.665.9660 in Winchester, VA or 304.726.6582 in Martinsburg, WV to schedule your free, confidential appointment to learn more about abortion-by-mail and whether it is a viable option for you.
(Not in our area? Click here to find a pregnancy resource center near you.)
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