There has been a quiet revolution in access to abortion pills in the United States over the past six months — and whether it continues depends on the new Biden-Harris administration.
Last July, a federal court suspended a rule that requires patients to go to a health center in person to pick up mifepristone, the first pill in a two-step process for medication abortion. The court sided with SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, allowing providers to mail mifepristone during the COVID-19 pandemic. But on January 12, the Supreme Court reinstated the rules, leaving in doubt the future of a landscape which advocates like Elisa Wells, co-founder of the medication abortion advocacy group Plan C, had rapidly begun to put in place.
“As soon as that court case hit, we called the lawyers and we said we’ve got providers and a pharmacy ready to do this, what do we need to know?” Wells told Truthout. “And I mean their jaws just dropped, they said, ‘Oh my God, how could you be so on the ball, ready to do this?’”