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You are here News Health New laws help people in US states with bans get abortion pills: ‘Most people don’t know it’s available’

New laws help people in US states with bans get abortion pills: ‘Most people don’t know it’s available’

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New laws allow access to abortion pills in US

Over the last five months of 2023, medical providers shipped abortion pills to over 40,000 people living in states that forbid abortions, via new “shield laws” that protect providers who mail pills to people living under abortion restrictions.

Researchers from #WeCount, a project by the Society of Family Planning that studies the impact of abortion restrictions following the toppling of Roe v Wade, first started tracking abortions performed through shield laws in July 2023. In its Tuesday report, the researchers measured the impact of shield laws passed in five blue states – Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Washington state – that protect medical providers from legal repercussions if they ship abortion pills to people in defiance of state bans.

Between October and December 2023, an average of 5,800 monthly medication abortions in states with six-week or near-total abortion bans were facilitated under such shield laws, #WeCount found in the Tuesday report, which tracks abortion provision between April 2022, before Roe was overturned, and December 2023. States that permit in-person abortions but have in effect outlawed telehealth abortions, such as Arizona and North Carolina, meanwhile, saw a monthly average of almost 2,000 medication abortions provided through shield laws.

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