Telehealth for Abortion Care
Updated: Jun 15, 2022
By Nayelie Benitez Santos
Graphics by Emily Toly Nguyen
Currently, a lot is at stake for reproductive health rights for women and child-bearing individuals, given the efforts in the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade. One of the current services at stake is telehealth to access abortion care. Via telehealth, an individual can meet remotely with a provider to receive a prescription for abortion pills (Abortion finer, n.d.). The abortion pill has a high safety and effectiveness rate, 94-98% for those eight weeks pregnant or less and 87% for those 10-11 weeks (about two and a half months) pregnant (Planned Parenthood, n.d.; Upadhyay & Meckstroth, 2021).
Patients can either get the pills mailed or pick them up (Planned Parenthood, n.d.). They receive two pills - mifepristone to block progesterone and misoprostol to empty the uterus. The provider will decide whether misoprostol will be instructed to be taken right away or up to 48 hours (about two days) after taking mifepristone.
Abortion pills offer a lot to people who seek them. Getting an abortion is not an easy decision and being able to complete the process at home helps individuals who wish to keep their decisions private (Healthline, n.d.). For others, it is a low-risk option that prevents individuals from using home remedies that might be ineffective or dangerous, such as herbal remedies, excessive physical exercise, or self-harm. The World Health Organization reports that about 50,000 people die yearly from unregulated abortions. If Roe vs. Wade is overturned, there will be fewer methods for receiving an abortion, thereby restricting individuals to ineffective and socially isolating methods that could lead to self-harm.
References: Abortion home remedies aren’t worth the risk, but you still have options. Healthline (n.d.).
Retrieved May 26, 2022, from healthline.com/health/abortion-home-remedy
Getting abortion pills online through telehealth. Abortion finder. (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2022, from https://www.abortionfinder.org/abortion-types/telehealth
The abortion pill. Planned Parenthood. (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2022, from
Upadhyay, Koenig, L. R., & Meckstroth, K. R. (2021). Safety and Efficacy of Telehealth
Medication Abortions in the US During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Network Open, 4(8), e2122320–e2122320. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.22320