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Abortion Pill by Mail: Important Factors to Consider

Abortion pill access by mail has always been a complex matter.  But after the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling was overturned last summer, there’s seemingly more confusion than ever about the legality and safety of this practice.  Any person considering a medication abortion should be aware of all the factors surrounding this significant choice.

Opting to end an unexpected pregnancy or continue it may be one of the hardest decisions a person has to make concerning her health.  If you find yourself at this challenging crossroads today, Avenue Women’s Center is here for you.  We’re a first-step pregnancy center with six locations based in the western Chicago metro area.  Our no-cost, confidential services include medical-grade pregnancy tests, options consultations, and more!

Call, text, chat, or email to speak with a caring staff member today!  We offer in-person and virtual appointments!

Abortion Pill by Mail: A Baseline Understanding

According to a yahoo!news article entitled, “US Postal Service can continue to deliver prescription abortion medication – DOJ,” more than half of abortions that take place in the U.S. are abortions by medication.  What’s commonly known as “the abortion pill” is typically two medications taken one after the other: mifepristone (taken first) and misoprostol (taken second).  In December 2021, the FDA approved these medications to be dispensed by mail as well as in-person pickup.  But new questions about the lawfulness of this practice have been raised since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Legal Factors Surrounding Abortion Pill by Mail

The yahoo!news article states that the mailing of mifepristone and misoprostol does not break an 1873 law called the Comstock Act, according to an opinion put out by the  U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel.  This means that USPS may continue to transport packages containing these medications regardless of state abortion laws.  The postal service currently considers mifepristone and misoprostol to be “mailable” under federal law in the same way as other prescription medications.  Does this mean it’s legal for the abortion pill to be prescribed across the US?  No!  Abortion laws have become much more complicated since Roe v. Wade was overturned.  Because every state has very different laws surrounding abortion, it’s critical to learn about your state’s regulations if you’re thinking about ending a pregnancy.

Health Factors Surrounding Abortion Pill by Mail

Some aspects of getting the abortion pill by mail relate directly to a person’s health and safety.  All medical procedures come with risks, and abortion (by medication or surgery) is no exception.  But taking the abortion pill at home, without assistance from a medical professional, may be especially unsafe due to lack of medical oversight.  Some women experience pregnancy concerns that may or may not be easy to spot.  For example, an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy located outside the uterus) is a dangerous condition that the abortion pill won’t resolve.  Failed or incomplete abortion is a particular risk of medication abortion when the pregnancy isn’t ectopic too.  Then, there’s a list of individual factors to consider, like a woman’s age, medical history, medication regimen, etc.  It’s important for a medical professional to understand the elements that make you and your pregnancy unique, so she can help you create a plan that prioritizes your wellness.

Navigating This Process by Your Side

Your health and safety are of the greatest importance!  So, it’s wise to get reliable information about your pregnancy before making a pregnancy decision.  An ultrasound can tell you 1) how far along you are (which may impact the accessibility of pregnancy options like abortion), 2) if the pregnancy is likely to end on its own, and 3) if you’re experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.  Avenue Women’s Center provides free limited medical ultrasounds to persons in the Chicagoland area and beyond.  Avenue is a limited medical clinic, but we’re passionate about helping people access the medical support they need to make an informed pregnancy choice.  We’d love to help you connect with a medical professional if you don’t have one, and we’re available to talk about abortion options, procedures, risks, and other factors.

For so many women in the US, navigating an unexpected is more confusing now than it’s ever been.  Our experienced team at Avenue Women’s Center understands how challenging it can be to cope.  Your circumstances, background, goals, needs… everything about you is unique.  Avenue provides a safe space to learn and consider the plan that’s best for you.  It’s our role to meet you with compassion and professionalism, no matter what you’re going through or where your pregnancy journey leads. 

Schedule an appointment today!  In addition to offering practical early pregnancy services, we’re here to empower you with resources and emotional support.



Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.