Statement from Plan C on several big developments in the abortion pills landscape

Plan C
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January 14, 2024

Statement from Plan C Pills on several big developments in the abortion pills landscape

The team at Plan C is thrilled to re-share the news that California has joined New York, Washington, and three other states in signing a shield law designed to protect clinicians and pharmacists who mail abortion pills to patients in states with restricted access.

Each state’s shield law operates slightly differently, but overall these laws appear to protect clinicians who practice telemedicine abortion 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.

More and more patients are requesting help from providers who are willing to mail pills into restricted states under protection of these new shield laws. And just yesterday, another service launched: the Massachusetts Medication Abortion Access Project which is an asynchronous telemedicine service that provides abortion care by mail in all 50 states.

How this improves access:

  • Abortion pills by mail for $150 or less, 2-5 day ship time, in any state.: It’s true: people in states with abortion bans can now access modern telehealth from licensed US-based clinicians who prescribe and ship FDA approved abortion pills for $150  or less, with 2-5 day ship times. Lawyers say there is no increased legal risk to the patient, since they are receiving a US -based prescription and provider-given care.
  • Thousands are using the services. This is not just a theory or future strategy: thousands of people are already using these services every month, via groups like Aid Access, Abuzz, and MAP. This is a stigma-free, equitable, and accessible model which improves access to medication abortion in all 50 states, and we’re thrilled to see how many providers are coming online to fill the need.
  • CA law includes digital security protections: The California law goes one step further, including a provision that bars state-based social media companies from complying with out-of-state subpoenas or warrants, which will protect the identity of patients seeking medication - a very necessary step for this state, and one we call on others to adopt.
    The providers need funding. These innovative providers are on the cutting edge of what’s legally possible in America right now, doing incredibly necessary work, but they will need funding to continue to provide these services. Not every abortion fund is funding clinicians who operate under shield laws, but we know that Abortion Freedom Fund is specifically funding shield law providers and helping them cover part or all of the costs of this service.  
  • The laws will be tested. These laws are strong, but also new and untested, and lawyers believe they will be challenged.

If you’re writing about shield laws, or looking for a source on using them to procure a medication abortion, please reach out. It’s a complex topic and we’d love to make someone available to walk you through this and the many options that remain available for abortions - including pills in advance! - in the U.S. today.

About Plan C:

Since 2015, Plan C (plancpills.org) has grown into a leading resource for abortion pills and information on how they’re used for a safe self-managed abortion. Plan C’s website and Guide includes sources of pills, referrals to medical legal and peer support hotlines, FAQs and more. Plan C works closely with partners in grassroots organizations, healthcare, creative and tech to bring this concept to the forefront and catalyze new initiatives that disrupt old barriers to access. Plan C’s mission is to destigmatize the method and make it more known and available – just like it is around the world – to help people reclaim agency over abortion in the U.S. and mitigate harm caused by state-based bans. To learn more, visit www.plancpills.org or find Plan C @plancpills on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.