Planned Parenthood of Illinois launches abortion pills via mail

Box of Mifeprex Mifepristone tablets, a progesterone blocker.
Box of Mifeprex Mifepristone tablets, a progesterone blocker.(Robin Marty / CC BY 2.0)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 2:50 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - As the nation waits to see the fate of the landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood of Illinois is offering abortion care in the mail.

Illinois residents can receive mifepristone, also known as the abortion pill, delivered to their Illinois address after a telehealth visit confirming they qualify. Previously, patients had to conduct an in-person check-up to see if they were eligible for that pill.

Mifepristone is approved for inducing abortions up to ten weeks of pregnancy. In 2021, the Food and Drug Administration removed the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone, which PPIL said allowed them to expand into this program.

They said as the Supreme Court is “expected to dismantle” the protections granted by the Roe v. Wade decision, they are expanding this program in order to reach more underserved areas.

“Now more than ever it’s crucial that our patients can access the care they need, when and where they need it,” said PPIL’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Amy Whitaker. “Not only is this a safe method, but it also increases access to care, especially for people of color, people living in rural areas, and people with low incomes who already face barriers to care.”

Out-of-state patients are also eligible for the mailed abortion pill. According to the announcement from PPIL, they need to conduct the telehealth visit in the state and have the medication shipped to an Illinois address. They do not have to be residents of the state, however.

That measure is combined with other ways in which abortion providers are moving into Illinois in an attempt to make it an “island” for reproductive health care as described by Gov. JB Pritzker.

Planned Parenthood of the St Louis Region recently opened a logistics center for helping out-of-state patients coordinate their appointments. Earlier this month, a Tennessee-based care provider announced plans to open a clinic in Carbondale, Illinois, which can be accessed via Amtrak train.

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