‘‘The biggest disruption to what we are doing [at Plan C] … is that with the airports being closed in India, the supply of Aid Access has been cut off,” said Elisa S. Wells, co-founder and co-director of Plan C, an organization that advocates for self-managed abortion care and medication abortion pill access. Aid Access and other online providers have been a reliable resource for patients as some states become increasingly hostile to abortion rights. “Aid Access has been a real safety net and now they aren’t able to provide anything,” Wells said.
Medication abortion, commonly referred to as the abortion pill, is growing in popularity for earlier abortion care. Even though medication abortion is safe and common (as are procedural abortions), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that the first pill taken to induce an abortion, mifepristone, must be prescribed by a health-care provider with specific qualifications and can only be dispensed in clinics, medical offices, and hospitals—not at pharmacies. This is a huge barrier: According to the Guttmacher Institute, 89 percent of counties in the country don’t have an abortion provider.“