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Whole Woman’s Health celebrates the significant step taken by the FDA to improve medication abortion access. The FDA is finally echoing what independent abortion providers have been saying for years: medication abortion is safe and highly effective.

Today the FDA followed science and permanently lifted one of the unnecessary and outdated restrictions on medication abortion —the in-person dispensing requirement. Which means the option to send prescriptions through the mail is now permanent, and the option to fill prescriptions at pharmacies is also now an option. Whole Woman’s Health has been offering medication abortion by mail in our Virtual Care program for over a year now, and we know from our own experience that it is safe and effective and it is a preferred method for many people seeking abortion care. We are encouraged by this announcement, and we will continue to be early adopters of the most innovative abortion care options so that our patients may get the best care possible.

As independent abortion providers with strong community ties, we know the reality of the people we serve. For some patients receiving their medications via mail may be preferred, others may want to pick the medications up at a local pharmacy, and for others an in-clinic abortion may be preferred or needed. We believe more options for all people leads to better, more affordable and more equitable abortion care.

With abortion care under attack nationwide, improving access to science-based medication is a public health imperative. While we celebrate this advancement, we know that medication abortion via telemedicine is not a panacea, it will not solve the public health crisis in the USA that is a result of the Dobbs decision and the overturning of Roe in June 2022. Abortion pills via telemedicine are banned in 18 states, and people in those states – mostly in the South and the Midwest – are disproportionately affected by abortion bans and restrictions. And those most affected are Black people, people of color, young people and rural communities. While we work hard to expand access to safe abortion care in the states that still allow it, we also remain committed to the long and challenging work of restoring abortion access to all people in the USA, no matter where they live. 

We know abortion medication is like any other prescription, it is safe and highly effective and should be accessible at a local pharmacy or via mail order pharmacies just like any other medication. At WWH and WWHA we will never stop fighting to expand Abortion Access and we will take this significant step forward as a positive way to start out the New Year as we expand our work across the country.