top of page

Pills by Mail Democratize Access to Abortion in the U.S.

A law went into effect in Florida in early May that restricts abortion to a maximum of six weeks after the last menstrual period, deepening difficulties in accessing healthcare in the United States. But there are options, such as receiving pills by mail and receiving financial assistance for out-of-state travel for those seeking abortions.

The average time most people find out about a pregnancy is at 5.5 weeks. Thus, this new law in Florida, which had already been implemented in two other states, is limiting the right to decide to a time frame in which many do not even know they are pregnant, and is leading people to take other measures. 

What is Abortion with Pills?

Pill abortion is the termination of pregnancy with two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol. This procedure is approved by the FDA since 2000 for use up to 10 weeks gestation, and in 2021 the FDA permanently eliminated the in-person dispensing requirement so each person can decide to have an abortion in the privacy of their home.

Mail-order pills are available in all states, even those with the most severe bans. You can have pills mailed to your home through a telehealth provider (an online clinic), online pharmacies, community networks, and take them at home.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is totally acceptable and safe to take the pills at home up to 12 weeks gestation with proper information and support during the process. 

For this virtual accompaniment, you have the Aya Contigo app available, which provides reliable information on how to take the pills and assess abortion completion. In addition, live doulas are available to provide navigational and emotional support at any part of the process. You can access Aya Contigo here. 

From Which States Can the Pills be Shipped to You?

Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, California, Vermont and Washington have gone the extra step.These states have shield laws that protect doctors, nurses and other professionals who prescribe and ship abortion pills to people who live in states that prohibit or severely restrict abortion.

This practice has primarily benefited low-income people who cannot afford to travel to regions where abortion is legal or who cannot afford to miss work for an abortion. It has also reduced waiting times for those seeking pills from providers in other countries;

According to the New York Times, the pills have become the most common abortion method nationwide, and shield laws are a crucial way to counteract the wave of bans enacted since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

16% of abortions are performed with pills through telemedicine. Individuals in all states can also obtain abortion pills from alternative providers, such as international online clinics, community networks, and websites like Abortion Pills in Private

Lists of online abortion providers, all international clinics and community networks are available on Plan C, while Aya Contigo has, in addition to virtual doula accompaniment throughout the process, resources in Spanish on funding, legal support, clinics and more valuable information on self-directed abortion.

Will You Get in Trouble for Ordering Pills by Mail?

The vast majority of laws criminalize providers and the people who help those seeking abortions, not the applicant herself.  That is why some states have enacted shield laws to protect them when they serve patients and send pills to prohibited states. 

The legal risk depends on the laws of the state in which you live, and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Plan C has up-to-date information and resources on this topic.

According to the Institute for Policy Studies, low-income people, especially people of color, are at much greater risk than the rest of those living in the United States of being flagged, booked, fined, arrested, detained, harassed and imprisoned for minor offenses. 

As it is unclear how the new abortion laws will affect the future criminalization of people for self-providing an abortion, if you want to better understand the laws and the risks you run, the ReproLegal Helpline is available to you.

This is a free and confidential hotline to help you understand the implications, taking into account your specific situation. You can log on to, call or text 844-868-2812.

Why Is the Gestation Time so Important?

A total of 27 states prohibit abortion based on the length of gestation, counted from the date of the last menstrual period. In Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, where abortion is restricted up to 6 weeks, abortion pills are still available by mail through out-of-state providers before and after that time mark.

Pills are also available by mail order in Nebraska and North Carolina, where abortion is restricted to 12 weeks, and in Arizona, where it is limited to 15 weeks.

Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia are the 14 states where the abortion ban is total, but pills can also be obtained by mail.  

You should also consider that in states such as Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin, they only allow abortion in person, but pills are also available by mail.  

All these restrictions and gestational limits are confusing.  You still have options, you can download the appAya Contigo and chat with our doulas, who can provide emotional support and navigate with you throughout your abortion experience.

Why Is it so Important for Women to Be Able to Decide?

States that prohibit abortion tend to have higher rates of women who do not have access to health and economic assistance, as well as worse health outcomes.

The denial of abortion limits education, people's working time and wages, and the economic consequences extend well into the lives of their children, who are less likely to have access to higher education, more likely to commit crime and less income as adults..

For these populations, mail order pills can make all the difference.

Contact us! We are here to accompany you in your sexual and reproductive health decisions.

Download the application Aya Contigo.



bottom of page