Roe v. With Wade overturned, many of the fiercest battles over abortion access will involve sending bullets to Republican states.
Some pregnant women in these states will travel to states where abortion is legal. But travel can be expensive and time-consuming, making it especially difficult for low-income workers.
That’s why both sides of the abortion issue are now gearing up for a long battle over what’s known as medication abortion — and specifically over whether women in red states can get abortion pills by mail. will be able to order, even if it is illegal. Abortion rights advocates are hoping to protect the mail services from legal challenges and try to spread the word that medication abortion is safe and effective. Abortion opponents are thinking about how to prevent the mail from becoming a loophole that undermines their newly created restrictions.
Today’s newsletter looks at three different areas where this problem is likely to end.
1. Access to Aid
In 2018, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch physician, founded a group called AdAccess to help women in countries where mail-order abortion pills are illegal. With many US states now outlawing abortion, access to care takes on new relevance in the US: After Texas passed a strict abortion law last year, for example, access to care Access was experienced. An increase in applications from Texas.
Women contact a European doctor through the AdAxis website to get the pills. Then, a The doctor will often fill the prescription using a pharmacy in India, which will send the pills by mail. They usually arrive in one to three weeks and can be carried safely up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
Pills cost about $110 to order through Access to Aid, with discounts available for poor women.
Gomperts told us she believed Access Aid was not in legal jeopardy because it follows the laws of Austria, where it is based. “I practice according to the law and all medical ethical guidelines,” she said.
Both pro-choice and pro-life advocates agree that stopping the delivery of abortion pills is difficult. James Bopp, lead lawyer for the National Right to Life Committee, said it was a difficult issue. Elizabeth Smith of the Center for Reproductive Rights said, “Even the federal government has no enforcement power against an entity that is entirely outside of the United States”.
But Smith added that the situation may be different for women taking the pills: They may be at legal risk in some states. For example, in Texas a woman seeking an abortion needs to visit the clinic twice – in part to limit the use of pills. A woman taking abortion pills in Texas would be violating that law, and Smith and some other experts believe prosecutors could take such a case, especially in the rare cases when women There are complications that require a doctor’s care.
One question is how law enforcement officials will attempt to stop the delivery of pills in most cases. Pharmacies, of course, don’t label abortion pills on their packages.
(For the back story on access to care: Gomperts has been trying to make abortion accessible for more than two decades, and was profiled in Times Magazine by Emily Bazilin in 2014.)
2. Overseas Pharmacies
Some overseas pharmacies also ship abortion pills without a doctor’s prescription. They usually sell generic versions of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol that are manufactured in India.
Plan C, a group that helps women who want to get pills by mail, has published Lists of pharmacies whose tablets are considered reliable by the group. “We analyzed them in the lab and they were the real thing,” Plan C co-founder Alyssa Wells told us. Tablets typically cost $200 to $500.
Take a Taking medicine without the help of a nurse or doctor is obviously not an ideal situation, but some women may decide that they have no other options. Also publishes Plan C. Medical and legal information About pills, and a group called M+A works. A telephone hotline For questions about self-administered abortions or abortions.
As with pills obtained through assisted access, in some states women may face legal risks from using an overseas pharmacy. Wells noted that three states — Oklahoma, Nevada and South Carolina — have laws against self-administered abortions.
3. Mail Forwarding
A third option involves getting a mailbox in a state where abortion is legal and working online with a medical provider in that state. The provider can mail the pills to a mailbox, and the company operating the mailbox can then mail them to the woman’s home in a state where abortion is prohibited.
This process involves several steps. Still, Wells said, it’s the cheapest, easiest option for many women. It also has some of the same legal weaknesses as the other options here.
Bopp, an anti-abortion advocate, said he hopes the federal government will eventually find ways to curb the transfer of abortion pills from one state to another. But that won’t happen as long as President Biden is in office, he added.
(This Times Opinion video describes how one Texas woman used the mailbox method. It meant she didn’t have to take time off work, and could have an abortion in the privacy of her own home. ).
The bottom line
More than half of legal abortions in the U.S. are already performed using the pill, up from almost none in 2000. The share is almost certain to increase, and even Republican-controlled states are likely to have substantial numbers of illegal pill-based abortions. Increasingly, the future of abortion — and the political struggle over it — will revolve around medication abortion.
Related stories: Kansas will vote on abortion next week. And in some states where abortion is legal, wait times have increased recently, as women travel from states where it is now illegal.
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Arts and Ideas
Chicago: Hot Dog Town
A proper Chicago dog on a poppy seed bun is topped with yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, diced white onion, tomato slices, a dill pickle spear, pickled game peppers and celery salt. “A source of civic pride, the Chicago-style hot dog is the nexus of many people’s connection to the city they love so much,” writes Eric Kim.
What makes these dogs stand out?
The number of toppings plays a role. But the biggest difference may be the missing ingredient: ketchup. “We don’t turn away anyone who wants ketchup on their hot dog,” Red Hot Ranch owner Jeff Greenfield told the Times. “But generally we try to limit it to kids 12 and under.”