Virtual abortion pill business pushes for ‘advance provision’ of the drugs despite FDA rules

abortion pill, telemedicine abortion

Aid Access, a Netherlands-based virtual abortion pill dispensary, is suggesting that women in the United States should be allowed to access abortion pills in advance of a verified pregnancy. The business claims to have received over 48,000 advance provision requests for the deadly drug regimen just prior to and shortly after the overturning of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

To promote the potentially risky scheme, the Aid Access data was used in a cross-sectional study recently published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. And, despite the fact that prescribing abortion drugs in advance of a confirmed pregnancy has never been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the media has readily promoted this study while failing to point out how this scheme flouts the FDA’s REMS safety regulations. The media has also failed to investigate the potential dangers of shipping abortion pills out like candy.

Aid Access is not the first to suggest this advance provision scheme. Around the time when Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022, abortion proponents called for women to stockpile abortion pills in their medicine cabinets whether they were pregnant or not… simply to have “on hand” should they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant.

Advance Provision Study

The Aid Access study examined 48,404 advance provision requests they received allegedly from residents of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., between September 1, 2021, and April 30, 2023. And the study claimed the reason for the request was not due to the women being pregnant, but in large part was due to women in the United States being fearful their state could implement potential abortion restrictions.

Aid Access was founded by Dutch physician Rebecca Gomperts, who is listed as an author of the study. It seems more than a little suspect that the founder of a business which stands to profit from advance provision sales of the abortion pill would author a study that predictably determined advance provision should be more broadly allowed.

According to NBC News, “At the time the data was collected, the organization connected patients with doctors from outside the U.S. who could prescribe the two drugs used in a medication abortion — mifepristone and misoprostol — which were then shipped to the patient at a cost of $110.”

“The most common reasons for requesting advance provision were to ensure personal health and choice (35 855 [74%]) and to prepare for possible abortion restrictions (35 405 [73%]),” the study’s authors wrote.

The authors also claimed that of Aid Access clients seeking to self-manage their abortions, “a higher proportion of those requesting advance provision were 30 years or older (34% vs 27%; P < .001), self-identified as White (67% vs 39%; P < .001), had no children (75% vs 48%; P < .001), lived in an urban region (82% vs 77%; P < .001), and lived in a region with a poverty rate less than the national average (38% vs 31%; P < .001).”

NBC News wrote:

After the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision leaked — which indicated that the court planned to overturn Roe v. Wade…requests spiked from about 25 per day, on average, to nearly 250, the study found. After the official Dobbs decision, Aid Access received about 90 requests per day. Requests spiked again — to an average of 172 per day — in April 2023, after opposing court rulings made it unclear whether mifepristone would still be available.

Aid Access study on advanced provision of abortion pills

Aid Access study on advance provision of abortion pills

The cross-sectional study was approved by the University of Texas, Austin institutional review board (IRB), where the study’s lead author Abigail R. A. Aiken, PhD, is associated. Aiken also obtained funding for the research.

“Advance provision is something that people in the United States seem to need or want, and it’s particularly pronounced in states that are considering, or may in the future, enact restrictions or bans regarding abortion,” Aiken told NBC News.

According to the media outlet, “Aiken said Aid Access is still getting advance provision requests, which are now filled by U.S.-based providers who live in states with shield laws that protect prescribers from facing legal ramifications for prescribing abortion medication to patients who live in states where abortion is restricted,” NBC News also reported.

FDA: Advance Provision Risky

While many abortion industry actors and their media allies, including Aid Access, advocate for the idea of shipping women (or teens) abortion pills in advance of a verified pregnancy (often referred to as advance provision of abortion pills), the FDA has warned that the practice is quite risky.

In 2022, Politico reported that “The FDA said health providers prescribing abortion medication to people who aren’t pregnant are acting without its authorization and that the practice is potentially dangerous for patients.”

“The FDA spokesperson told POLITICO that if mifepristone, which stops the flow of hormones supporting a fetus in the uterus, were prescribed before a patient is pregnant, providers wouldn’t be able to properly oversee care to ensure safety and effectiveness. Abortion medication is regulated more tightly by the FDA than other drugs, restricting how the regimen can be prescribed,” the media outlet wrote.

“[T]he FDA is concerned that if patients were to take mifepristone weeks or months after getting a prescription filled, a medical professional may not be able to assess if a pregnancy is intrauterine or ectopic or date pregnancies properly. The drug is only approved through 70 days gestation for abortions,” Politico added.

Live Action News previously documented how Big Abortion’s media darling Dr. Daniel Grossman, an abortionist with ties to an organization recently funded by the abortion pill’s manufacturer, had promoted the unapproved and dangerous idea that abortionists should give women the abortion pill before they are even pregnant in a thread on Twitter/X in 2021.

Grossman understood then that abortion pills have risk, because in the same thread — almost as a way to inoculate himself from culpability — Grossman points out, “[…]there are some people who are not good candidates for advance provision, including those taking blood thinners or who have a bleeding disorder.” (emphasis added)

“People who are at high risk of an ectopic pregnancy should ideally have an ultrasound before using medication abortion. So folks who have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past or who’ve had surgery on their fallopian tubes shouldn’t get advance provision,” Grossman also wrote.

He added, “There are a few other rare conditions that are contraindicated for medication abortion, including chronic adrenal failure, inherited porphyria, long-term steroid therapy, or allergy to the meds. Advance provision isn’t a good option for these folks either.”

The Aid Access study did not specify whether they ruled out any such “contraindications” or whether they warned women of any potential dangers in taking the abortion drugs.

Instead, Aid Access study authors suggested advance provision of abortion drugs be available “for racial and ethnic minority groups and marginalized groups” among others, joining the growing list of Bad Actors potentially flouting FDA safety regulations to expand abortion and line their pockets with profits.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail this Christmas for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact editor@liveaction.org for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email editor@liveaction.org with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top