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Here you can find answers to general questions about self-managed abortion.

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About Abortion

You can find up-to-date information about the availability of abortion in your state at abortionfinder.org and ineedana.com.

Yes. You have the constitutional right to travel. When you have an abortion in another state where it is legal, you are not committing a crime in that state or in your home state.

Even in states that ban abortion, it is generally not a crime to have an abortion. Laws that ban abortion usually make it a crime to provide an abortion to someone else. So, you are not committing a crime when you have an abortion. This is true whether you have an abortion at a clinic or self-manage your abortion. 

However, there are a few exceptions. South Carolina, Nevada, and Oklahoma make it a crime to self-manage abortion. If you live in one of these states, you should contact us for more information about your rights.

Some lawmakers and anti-abortion organizations have tried to pass laws that would allow their states to prosecute doctors in other states who help people get abortions. However, no state has a law making it a crime to travel to another state to have an abortion.

That does not mean people are totally safe from legal trouble. It is impossible to know for sure whether a prosecutor will try to charge someone with a crime or whether someone in their life will try to sue them for having an abortion.

This is why it is so important to keep your private information private, and to know where to get legal help if you need it. Here are resources to help you:

Legal Help

  • Contact us if you have been questioned by the police, arrested, threatened with arrest, or charged with a crime for your abortion. We will respond to your call as soon as possible, and within 24 hours.

How to Protect Your Digital Privacy

Your Rights to Privacy in Health Care

Here is information on your rights and how to keep yourself safe when talking to health care providers.

After the June 24th Supreme Court decision, laws are changing rapidly and are different in each state. A lot depends on your specific situation. Please contact us directly if you are pregnant, under age 18, and your state just banned abortion.

Everyone has the constitutional right to advocate for what they believe in. It is your legal right to advocate for the right to abortion.

Volunteers of abortion funds may be targeted in states that have banned abortion or states with laws that allow vigilantes to sue anyone who helps someone have an abortion. The law is changing rapidly. A lot depends on the situation. If you are trying to help someone right now, please contact us for technical assistance.

At this time, the risk to anyone of having their period tracker apps monitored by police, or their data given to police without them knowing about it, is low. In the last 20 years, more than 50 people have been arrested for ending their own pregnancies. We work on these cases and have never seen or heard of a period tracker app being used against someone.

However, if someone has already been arrested, it is possible that police will either ask for or get a warrant for their phone, computer, or other electronic devices. When that happens, we have seen police and prosecutors use someone's internet search history and text messages against them in criminal cases.

Even if the legal risk is low, we recommend that everyone learn about digital privacy and use resources to protect your privacy. See the links below for more information.

How to Protect Your Digital Privacy

States cannot make it illegal for you to use birth control. Every person still has the constitutional right to use birth control, no matter their age or where they live. That includes emergency contraception (also called Plan B or the morning-after-pill), hormonal implants, and any other form of birth control. The Supreme Court's opinion about abortion in June does not change that.

Some state legislators have tried to ban some forms of birth control, but those laws are not in effect. Learn more about birth control, including emergency contraception, at Planned Parenthood's website.

No. We cannot tell you where to buy abortion pills or how to take them.

We are not Plan C. The Repro Legal Helpline is run by If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice.  

Plan C has a website that lists information about different online sellers of abortion pills. Plan C lists sources for both self-managed abortion and clinical abortion. The website is not a source of accurate legal information or advice. For legal information about abortion pills, contact us.

About Self-Managed Abortion

Self-managed abortion means ending your own pregnancy, without a doctor or other health care provider.

Most people go to clinics to get abortion care. But some states make it hard for people to get to clinics. So, some people choose to manage their own abortion because they cannot go to a clinic.

Other people would just rather manage their abortion on their own, with pills, herbs, or in other ways.

If you are investigated or arrested for self-managing an abortion call or message us.

No. Self-managed abortion is ending a pregnancy on your own outside of the formal medical system. Telemedicine relies on medical professionals, but gives people the option to speak with their providers remotely instead of in person. 

In more than 20 states, multiple telehealth services are legally shipping abortion pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) by mail to patients after an online and/or video consultation. These abortion by mail services provide medication abortion in different states and at different prices. Follow the links below to learn more about these abortion by mail services.

Abortion On Demand
Hey Jane
CHOIX
Just the pill

At If/When/How, we fight for your legal right to decide whether to keep or end a pregnancy. If you have questions that are not answered on the website, please call us or send us a secure message.​

Abortion Pills

Yes. But some people have still been arrested and jailed for using abortion pills to end their own pregnancy.

If you are questioned by the police or arrested for using pills to end your own pregnancy, call or message our helpline.

Aid Access is an online provider of abortion pills.

The Repro Legal Helpline is not part of Aid Access. We are not a resource on abortion pills and do not provide medical information. If/When/How and its Repro Legal Helpline are not part of any other outside organization. We provide legal information about self-managed abortion.

The answer to that question is not simple. There might be legal risks with ordering abortion pills online, but it depends on many different factors.

We are not aware of anyone being arrested or investigated just for ordering abortion pills online. However, we know of at least four cases where people who ordered abortion pills online were later charged with crimes for having an abortion. In these cases, they were charged with a crime when someone reported them to the police, or when fetal remains from their pregnancy were found and reported. The fact that they ordered abortion pills online was used against them in these cases.

  • In Indiana, a woman was convicted and spent time in jail. Her sentence was overturned and she was released.
  • In Idaho, a court said that because people have the right to an abortion, they can’t be charged with a crime for ordering abortion pills online.
  • In Georgia, a woman was charged with a misdemeanor for possessing a prescription drug without a prescription, but all the charges were eventually dropped.
  • In Ohio, a woman and her boyfriend were both charged with involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, and abuse of a corpse. Their cases are currently pending trial.

It is generally legal to order any kind of medicine, including pills, from a licensed online pharmacy, if you have a prescription. But when pharmacies are in other countries, they are usually not allowed to send prescription medicine into the United States.

But the government does not, at this time, enforce that law against people who order prescription medicine just for their own use. So, for example, if someone ordered diabetes medicine from India, they would probably not get in legal trouble. It is the same with abortion pills.

The same law as above says that people are not supposed to bring medicine from other countries into the United States. That law applies to ordering any kind of medicine sent from another country, or bringing it back to the U.S. after going to another country.

Abortion pills are prescription medicines in the U.S. So all the laws that apply to other prescription medicines also apply to abortion pills, including laws that say you cannot give/sell someone else pills that you were prescribed for your own use.

Abortion pills are two different medications that are used together to end a pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol. People also take misoprostol by itself to end a pregnancy.

In the United States, abortion pills are “prescription drugs.” A prescription drug is a drug that you need a doctor or nurse practitioner to approve for you. Misoprostol can be available from a pharmacy with a prescription, but mifepristone is not available through pharmacies at all. If you have a prescription for mifepristone, pharmacies will not be able to fill it for you.

A prescription for misoprostol can be written by healthcare providers licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. to terminate a pregnancy at home.

If a doctor or nurse practitioner gives a prescription online for misoprostol, it is not against the law to go to a pharmacy to fill that prescription, although depending on your state, the pharmacist might not be able to fill that prescription for you.

If a doctor is licensed in a foreign country, the pharmacy will probably not be able to fill that prescription. If the doctor is licensed in another state, the pharmacy may or may not be able to fill the prescription, depending on state law. Most likely they will call that healthcare provider to ask them questions about the prescription before they fill it.

We also know that, because of abortion stigma, people who end their own pregnancies have been reported even when it was not a crime for someone to end their own pregnancy. So, the same could be true for people trying to fill medication abortion prescriptions if a pharmacist thinks you could be doing something that is against the law. The pharmacist might not know what the law says.

In more than 20 states, multiple telehealth services are legally shipping abortion pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) by mail to patients after an online and/or video consultation. These abortion by mail services provide medication abortion in different states and at different prices. Follow the links below to learn more about these abortion by mail services.

Abortion On Demand
Hey Jane
CHOIX
Just the pill
Carafem

Generally, if a licensed medical provider prescribes the medication and then sends the medication, it is fine to receive that medication in the mail. But every state has different laws about whether abortion pills can be sent by mail. Please contact us if you have questions about your state. 

No. Emergency contraception, also called the morning-after pill is a pill or pills you take after sex or a sexual assault to stop a pregnancy from happening.

It works best when it is taken as soon as possible after sex or a sexual assault.

If you are already pregnant, emergency contraception will not cause an abortion. Learn more about emergency contraception.

Emergency contraception is also legal, and you can get it over the counter no matter how old you are. If you have health insurance, it may cover the cost. Some states cover the cost if you are low-income, even if you don't have insurance.

Abortion pills are different from emergency contraception. Abortion pills end a pregnancy. In the U.S., you cannot get abortion pills over the counter. Doctors usually prescribe two pills — one is called mifepristone and the other is called misoprostol — to end a pregnancy. People also take misoprostol alone to end a pregnancy.

The websites below have more information about abortion pills:

International Women's Health Coalition & Gynuity Health Projects Fact Sheets:(opens in new tab)

SASS (Self-Managed Abortion Safe and Supported)

Research shows that having an abortion with abortion pills is the same as having a miscarriage, and they have about the same rates of complications. In most cases, they are safe and effective.

They are the same pills that doctors would prescribe if you were getting a medical abortion from a clinic.

The websites below have more information about abortion pills:

International Women's Health Coalition & Gynuity Health Projects Fact Sheets:(opens in new tab)

SASS (Self-Managed Abortion Safe and Supported)

Additional Information

Some people who can get pregnant are not women; this includes non-binary people and transgender men. More info on these terms is available here(opens in new tab).

To talk to someone who can provide judgment-free support no matter what decision you make about a pregnancy, you can call All Options at 1-888-493-0092.

All Options is a non-profit organization that provides judgment-free support for all people in all their decisions and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption.

Find out more on their website here(opens in new tab).

For accurate, unbiased information about a range of sexual and reproductive health issues—from consent to birth control to miscarriage—you can download the Euki app.

Euki was created by Women Help Women, which is an international nonprofit organization comprised of feminist activists, trained counselors, medical professionals, and researchers. The organization is committed to increasing abortion access, with a particular focus on supporting self-managed abortion.

Find out more on their website here(opens in new tab).

Abortion on Our Own Terms in a website dedicated to providing accurate information about self-managed abortion, including barriers to medication abortion, resources, and how to take action.

Find out more on their website here(opens in new tab).

You probably went to a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) rather than a real reproductive health clinic.

CPCs sometimes present themselves as real clinics but are actually set up to scare or misinform people so they do not get the abortion they want.

Abortion is a very safe and common medical procedure in the United States.

Find an unbiased clinic here(opens in new tab).

In 17 states, state Medicaid programs pay for abortion. In every state, you have the right to have your abortion paid for by Medicaid if you are 1) low income, and 2) you are pregnant as a result of rape, or your life would be in danger if you stayed pregnant.

In the states that do not allow Medicaid to pay for abortions, non-profit organizations called “abortion funds” help people who need it to pay for their abortion, travel, and other needs related to an abortion.

Go to abortionfunds.org(opens in new tab) to find the abortion fund nearest you. You can also call the National Abortion Federation(opens in new tab) for support nationwide.

If someone is hurting or threatening you, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or toll-free 1-800-787-3224.

They also have a 24/7 online chat option available on their website(opens in new tab).

If this is a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 for help.

Our helpline cannot provide medical advice or information, but you can contact the M+A hotline, which is operated by doctors that can give you expert medical advice. You can contact the M+A hotline at 1-833-246-2632 or visit their website(opens in new tab) for more information.

We encourage everyone to learn about ways to better protect their personal information when using the Internet.

More info on browsing securely(opens in new tab).

The helpline and its staff are based in the United States and can only answer questions related to U.S. laws.

Disclaimer: On this page, we provide links to organizations and websites that are not a part of If/When/How or our helpline. We are not part of those organizations and If/When/How is not responsible for any information they offer and/or services they provide. We are not responsible for any actions you take based on the information and/or services they provide.