Press Release: Abortion Access Campaign Plan C Will Not Let Ruling Against the FDA Halt Access to Pills

Press Release: Abortion Access Campaign Plan C Will Not Let Ruling Against the FDA Halt Access to Pills

Amy Merrill, Plan C Digital Director
January 14, 2024

Abortion Access Campaign Plan C Will Not Let Ruling Against the FDA Halt Access to Pills

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April 8, 2023 - Yesterday, Judge Kaczmaryk issued a decision in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA staying the FDA’s approval of mifepristone (but giving the FDA seven days to appeal before the order goes into effect). Almost immediately after, Judge Thomas Rice of the Eastern District of Washington issued a decision blocking the FDA from making any changes to access to mifepristone in Washington State and the 16 other states and the District of Columbia that joined in that action.

Multiple politicians and experts then tweeted their beliefs that the FDA has the authority to ignore the Texas ruling, including Senator Wyden (Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the FDA) and lawyer David Cohen.

From Plan C’s perspective, any ruling that invalidates the long-standing FDA approval of mifepristone is purely political, with no basis in scientific fact, but nevertheless has the potential to deal a severe blow to abortion access throughout the country. The decision is not expected to have an immediate impact due to the stay and the question of who has actual authority over the FDA. Both cases will likely go to higher courts.

“Once again a court has failed to protect access to basic medical care for people who are pregnant. We will not let this unjust ruling in Texas stop people from accessing abortion pills, which are readily available through alternate supply routes in the US. Our website lists vetted sources that will ship abortion pills directly to your mailbox, no matter what state you live in.” - Elisa Wells, Plan C Co-Director

Despite this baseless ruling, people in the US who want to self-manage their abortions will continue to have options, through the robust alternate supply systems that now exist in the US. Medically-safe sources of pills include Aid Access (, community-based networks who distribute pills for free, and websites that sell abortion pills for profit. Additionally free resources like the M+A Hotline ( and the ReproLegalHelpline ( support anyone in answering medical or legal questions. This is critical information at this moment, and often it is missing from mainstream narratives that erroneously state that medication abortion is now illegal or no longer available. We encourage members of the media to ground themselves in the scope of information that includes medically-safe self-managed options.  

Since the SCOTUS Dobbs decision and the subsequent actions by many states to unjustly ban or severely restrict provision of abortion care, tens of thousands of people have used the resources documented in Plan C’s Guide to Abortion Pills to access medication abortion through alternate routes to have medically safe self-managed abortions. In the past year, the Plan C website has received 2.2M visitors. Self-managed abortion using pills has been common in other countries for decades, with millions of people each year either sourcing pills through feminist networks or purchasing them directly off pharmacy shelves, as is allowed in many countries.  

Alternate routes of access to abortion pills are likely to continue to grow in the United States as access to abortion through mainstream medical services is gutted by political maneuvering. Fortunately, self-managed abortion using pills is medically safe. What causes harm are efforts to criminalize people for the outcomes of their pregnancies and attempts by anti-chioce extremists to restrict access to care, such as this lawsuit. It is well documented that preventing people from accessing abortion care causes harm and  that people who already face access barriers and systemic oppression, including people of color, youth, those who lack financial resources, and those living in rural areas are disproportionately affected. Any criminalization of people for their pregnancy outcomes is unacceptable. Our Guide to Abortion Pills highlights sources of pills that may carry legal risk and directs people to sources of free legal information so that they can fully understand potential risks and make informed decisions about their options.  

“We know that full legal access to all forms of abortion, through all modalities and in all states for any reason, is what is needed to ensure people are able to safely control their reproductive futures. In the absence of such a reality, we want people to know that alternatives still exist. Given the robust digital marketplace for abortion pills, access to safe, self-managed abortion with pills in the US has not been—and cannot be—stopped.”

Amy Merrill, Plan C Digital Director