Since the pandemic, many of our daily routines have been interrupted or changed as we’ve learned to navigate the world in a new way. While communities have sprung into action to ensure people had access to food, toiletries, financial assistance and more, anti-abortion opponents saw an opportunity to ban and further limit access to care by deeming abortion a ‘non-essential service.’
The need for abortion never stops. Access to abortion has been eroded in many parts of the country, and further restricting care only adds to existing barriers. Many of the issues that people are experiencing during this pandemic, disproportionately impact those seeking abortion care, including unemployment (and loss of employer healthcare), and new and additional child care responsibilities. Closing clinics and banning abortion doesn’t stop people from seeking abortion care, instead people are forced to wait, travel long distances or explore other options for ending their pregnancies.
Abortion is time-sensitive and essential healthcare, and people should be able to manage their abortion care at home if they choose. For years, advocates have called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove unnecessary Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy drug safety restrictions (REMS) on one of the pills required for a medication abortion, mifepristone. Due to the pandemic, a judge temporarily suspended the FDA’s restriction on mifepristone in a lawsuit brought forward by the ACLU. In that case, the judge ruled that requiring people to go to a clinic poses a “‘substantial obstacle’ to abortion patients and are likely unconstitutional under the circumstances of the pandemic.” 
This action will help ensure that people seeking abortion care can get the care they need without delay during the pandemic. It’s important to note that though this ruling will change access for many across the country it does not apply to the 20 states with existing telemedicine bans, including Missouri, Louisiana and Texas .
To celebrate abortion at home, we’re bringing you five tips to support a friend managing their abortion at home:
- Affirm their decision. Pregnant people are capable of making decisions about their lives, futures and bodies on their own. Affirming someone’s decision is a great way to combat any stigma that your friend may be feeling. Remember, there are a lot of normal responses to having an abortion, but always framing the experience as difficult, invalidates the wide range of experiences people actually have.
- Send an abortion care package. Imagine opening a box of small comforts: think cozy socks, tea bags, lip balm, moisturizer, a favorite snack or candy, and other small items. A handwritten note is also a nice touch! (P.S. sending mail is also a great way to support the United States Postal Service  – it’s a win win!)
- Schedule a video-call. If you can’t be there to support in-person, checking in with your friend before, during or after their abortion can be a good way to offer comfort and support from a distance. Did you know you can play games over video? Apps like Houseparty and Tabletop Simulator offer all the fun of board games at a distance .
- Watch a show or movie together. Either get together, or if you can’t be there to support in-person, with apps like Netflix Party, you can watch content simultaneously with a friend (there’s even a text box for commentary!) . Looking for an abortion movie? Try Unpregnant on HBO.
- Have food delivered! Many local restaurants have delivery or curbside pickup options for takeout. Try ordering directly from a restaurant instead of using a third party app such as Grubhub or UberEats, which takes a cut of the profit from the restaurant .
Abortion is essential health care, and expanding access to abortion pills at home is a step toward a future where people can manage their care on their own terms at home. To learn more about Reproaction’s Abortion Pills are Magic campaign, click here.