December 13, 2023 - The SCOTUS decision to hear the consolidated cases FDA vs Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine as well as Danco Laboratories, L.L.C. vs Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine means that access to mifepristone is maintained for the near term, but leaves the final outcome of the case uncertain.
We hope that the eventual SCOTUS decision will affirm that decisions about access to abortion medications should be based on the FDA's rigorous evaluation of scientific data about their safety and effectiveness as well as the clinical judgement of medical professionals, not on baseless political claims. However, the current makeup of the court—and its failure in the Dobbs case to uphold abortion rights—does not bode well for a good outcome.
As SCOTUS considers the case, mifepristone will remain available in the United States. This includes the availability of abortion pills by mail, even in states with abortion bans.
Since June, abortion pills and telehealth abortion services have been available from US-based providers, even in states with abortion bans, due to new shield laws in some progressive states. These laws are designed to protect clinicians who practice telemedicine abortion and mail pills into restricted states, shielding them from extradition or loss of their medical license. These providers are operating in full compliance with the laws in their state that pertain to them, and are adhering to standard medical protocols for abortion service delivery. Lawyers say there is no increased legal risk to the end user or patient by using these services.
Even if the SCOTUS decision results in restrictions on mifepristone, mifepristone and misoprostol pills will remain available by mail through alternate delivery systems that serve all US states and territories. This includes a robust alternate supply network of abortion pills from both online vendors who ship generic abortion pills for as little as $42 with 3-day shipping, as well as volunteer groups who mail free generic abortion pills to people in restricted states who can’t afford other options.
Given the uncertainty around the outcome of this case, we also know that many people are stocking up on mifepristone + misoprostol in case they need them later. For example, at least one pharmacy in India offers a telehealth service that includes a basic medical screening, abortion pills, anti-nausea medication, and ibuprofen for $25, with 3-4 week shipping.
Our website—plancpills.org—lists all of these routes of access, including the ecommerce sites which we continue to test for reliability. Our site also includes FAQs about using pills for self-directed care, referrals to free and confidential hotlines for support, and other person-centered resources, so no one has to go it alone.
“We want people to know that abortion pills are everywhere. Laws and court rulings will not stop us from accessing safe abortion. Instead, restrictions of any kind will just strengthen our resolve to demonstrate new models of access that put abortion pills, and the agency to have an abortion, directly in the hands of the person who needs it.”
Your journalism can help: by letting people know there are still organizations and resources for support.
About Plan C:
Plan C is a public health information campaign and a catalyst for direct access to abortion pills by mail in the US. Since 2015, Plan C has led the way in normalizing self-directed abortion care: actively increasing awareness of this safe and effective method and how people are directly accessing the medication and support services, from any state. Plan C’s comprehensive Guide to Pills indexes sources of pills through both mainstream and alternate routes, as well as FAQs and free and confidential support hotlines, all in support of safe self-directed options despite bans to care. As a creative campaign, Plan C works with creators, brands and media and builds cross-sector partnerships to make the method more known and available, especially with audiences facing the biggest barriers to care. Plan C operates under a vision of pills in hands: disentangling the method from politics and moving agency over abortion back to the individual. To learn more, visit plancpills.org or find Plan C @plancpills on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
Abortion is basic health care and a human right. Everyone deserves full, legal access to mifepristone through clinics, telehealth, and self-managed sources in every zip code in the US.
Plan C will continue to provide research-based information about where to obtain medication abortion, both mifepristone and misoprostol, throughout this fight.
Previous Plan C statements on this matter: