How a Telemedicine Abortion Provider Is Bracing for Post-Roe Life
People do need to be in the state during the consultation and to receive the medication. But it would allow them to get it at a location that would be more convenient, if there aren’t clinics close to the border. And in many cases, it’ll allow them to get care sooner if clinics have extended wait times due to the increase in demand.
Have you seen people doing this already, traveling to the border and staying with a friend, or maybe at an Airbnb, and then using telemedicine?
Yes, we have.
I read that you’re partnering with local abortion providers in various states to prepare for further abortion restrictions. Can you tell me about that?
We partner with some really great abortion funds to offer financial assistance for patients who can’t afford the full cost of treatment. Our price now is $249, which tends to be less than the national average of $550. But of course, in many cases, that’s still burdensome, especially as patients may not be able to use insurance. And so the abortion funds, and practical support organizations, are also going to be really critical in supporting people who need to travel in order to get access to care.
Are there any particular abortion funds that you think people should know about?
I don’t want to play favorites, but the National Network of Abortion Funds is a great resource that covers funds across the country.
Do you have any advice for people who need abortions but live in states that you aren’t able to serve?
What has the public response to Hey Jane been? Any issues with anti-choice protesters?
It’s been very positive, which I think reflects popular sentiment. Most people do believe that abortion is health care and have really shown a strong amount of support for efforts to increase access.
Are there any misconceptions about the abortion pill you’d like to clear up?
I think the biggest thing is that not enough people know about the abortion pill. We’ve seen some data where only one in five people even know that it exists as an option. So rather than going over misconceptions, I’d just go over some of the really important facts to know. It is incredibly safe. It’s been around in the US, approved by the FDA, since 2000. There’s a low adverse-reaction rate, 0.1 percent, which is lower than many common medications. There’s a ton of data now supporting that it’s just as safe when delivered via telemedicine. It’s very effective—data shows it’s up to 98 percent effective at ending unintended pregnancies up to 10 weeks. And it’s very common. Now over 50 percent of abortions in the US are done through medication.
What are your biggest fears at this moment?
It’s just the reality that there are going to be millions of people who are unable to access care that they really need. And there are so many secondary effects to that. It’s just—it’s hard to even put into words.
What would you say to someone who opposes abortion?
One in four people with a uterus will have an abortion in their lifetime, including many people who say they oppose abortion. We really see patients across the political spectrum and ultimately just believe abortion care is health care. We think patients are best positioned to know what’s best for them and their lives.
Are you hopeful about the future of reproductive rights in the US?
The reality is that overturning Roe, like many of the extraordinarily cruel bans that have already been put into place, will be really devastating to pregnant people, and particularly Black and brown people, low income people, and young people. But I do think a key difference for folks to remember is that unlike in the pre-Roe era, we do now have safe and effective tools that will put the power back in people’s hands and technology to help connect people with that care. It’s not to say that it’s not a tremendous burden, but that does give me some hope.