Telehealth access will be restricted if abortion medication access is suspended: Report

It is worth noting that telehealth has been regarded as a game changer especially in the times of pandemic when no one was able to go out of their homes but were still able to get medications thanks to the online prescriptions that they managed to get using access to telehealth. This is how we know that the healthcare industry can be revolutionized. Now, it is worth noting that there is a threat to telehealth access for one area which is abortion medication. Dana Northcraft says that “frivolous lawsuits led by extremists, including the recent federal court decision out of Texas ordering the national ban of mifepristone”

Dana Northcraft, the founding director of Reproductive Health Initiative for Telehealth Equity & Solutions (RHITES), says “Recent data from #WeCount show that telehealth has played an increasingly crucial role in meeting the needs of those seeking abortions since Roe was struck down. Telehealth abortion provided by virtual-only clinics increased by 137% in the six months following the Dobbs decision”. She adds that “If you consider the providers who work in brick-and-mortar clinics who also offer telehealth services, the numbers become even more impactful. It is important to note that while telehealth has increasingly become a linchpin in the ability to access abortion, there are still tens of thousands of people being denied abortion care”.

Dana also mentions in her report on TechCrunch that “Abortion is a time-sensitive procedure. This is especially true for medication abortion care, which is safe and effective in terminating a pregnancy up to the first 10 to 12 weeks. Finding the means to travel across the state, let alone across state lines, can lead to delays and push this care out of reach, especially for BIPOC populations or those struggling to make ends meet.” She suggests that “video conferencing or phone consultations have the potential to obliterate these barriers, enabling providers to screen and counsel patients, remotely prescribe medication, and have it delivered to the patient’s home.”

Further stressing her point about providing access to telehealth even for abortions, she adds that “The time is now to continue the expansion and availability of telehealth, including for abortion care, not to go backward. There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a crisis, but there is also no doubt that we can meet that crisis with innovative solutions.”


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