June 12, 2023
Times have changed: You can now get safe, effective, and FDA-approved abortion pills by mail in certain states—here's what you need to know.
For more than 20 years, medication abortion has been a safe and effective option for ending a pregnancy—and as of 2021, abortion pills can be delivered by mail to patients, no in-person clinic visit required.
When did abortion pills delivered by mail become a thing? Where can you get abortion pills by mail? Is it legal? Keep reading for answers.
Medication abortion is an incredibly safe, effective, and common way to end an early pregnancy at home. The standard medication abortion regimen, which the FDA has approved for use through 10 weeks of pregnancy since 2000, involves taking two different medicines with two different purposes: mifepristone and misoprostol.
Mifepristone, step 1 in the FDA-approved protocol, blocks the hormone progesterone so the pregnancy stops growing.
Misoprostol, step 2 in the FDA-approved protocol, causes the uterus to contract and leads to cramping and bleeding, similar to an early miscarriage..
The World Health Organization (WHO) also shares a protocol that uses misoprostol only, but most virtual clinics (Hey Jane included) will prescribe both medications—which are up to 98% effective when taken together.
After temporarily removing some restrictions on mifepristone due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA permanently allowed abortion pills by mail in 2021. This decision reflects the science, which has found that telemedicine medication abortion has similar efficacy with no increased risk of significant adverse events when compared with in-person abortion care.
There are, however, a number of states that currently have laws that require a provider to be present when administering abortion pills (even though this is medically unnecessary for most patients) or ban abortion entirely—and the legal landscape is constantly shifting since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022.
The legal right to access abortion pills by mail will remain in many states, including the seven states that Hey Jane currently provides services in: California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, and Washington.
If you are not currently in those states but are planning to travel to one of them to receive care from Hey Jane, we recommend staying put for the first 48 hours of the treatment to ensure you have easy access to the bathroom, a comfortable space, and the ability to easily contact us if any questions come up. While you do not need to be a resident of one of these states to receive care in that state, you must be physically located in one of these seven states to begin the Hey Jane treatment process and have the medications mailed to your location.
The availability of abortion pills by mail makes abortion care more accessible for many of the people who need it. Patients don't need to be near a clinic, don't need to wait weeks to schedule an appointment, don't need to worry about the cost of traveling to a clinic, don’t need to take time off from work for their appointment, and don’t need to find childcare.
What’s more, telemedicine abortion can also be more affordable; care at Hey Jane, for example, costs less than half the average price of in-clinic abortion care. Many people also prefer the convenience and privacy of having an abortion at home with pills that were delivered by mail.
Some telemedicine clinics may require you to make a video appointment to get abortion pills, while others, like Hey Jane, have you fill out an intake form before a provider determines your eligibility for care (a phone or video call is optional). Either way, you’ll likely text, email, or video chat with a provider before you get your prescription. Shipping by mail in states that allow telemedicine abortion usually takes about 1-5 business days, but each clinic is different and can give you a more specific timeline.
When considering a telemedicine provider, there are a few things to look for to ensure that they are a reputable, trustworthy source:
2) Is the online provider a member of relevant abortion organizations?
Accredited abortion providers and clinics can be accepted members of organizations like the National Abortion Federation and Abortion Care Network.
3) Is the online provider LegitScript certified?
US-based providers can go through LegitScript’s rigorous certification process to confirm that they operate safely.
If you’re in a state that Hey Jane does not deliver to, Plan C has a comprehensive guide for getting abortion pills mailed to you.
You can trust Hey Jane: We’re vetted and approved by guides like Plan C, Abortion Finder, and I Need An A; we’re a member of both the National Abortion Federation and the Abortion Care Network; and we’re LegitScript certified. Plus, we send the same FDA-approved medications you’d receive in a clinic.
At Hey Jane, you’ll be connected with a member of our clinical care team for a virtual consultation in 1 business day after filling out a short form. If you’re eligible for abortion care, treatment with Hey Jane includes:
Financial assistance is available if you need it.
Depending on the shipping option you select, once you’ve been approved for treatment your package will arrive in a discreet, unmarked package in 1-5 business days. Before, during, and after the process, we’ll be there if you need someone to talk to—no judgment, ever.
Interested in learning more about getting abortion pills by mail through Hey Jane? Click “Get Started” in the top-right corner of this article.