KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With abortion bans in Missouri and other states, people are seeking out ways to get abortion pills online.

Under current law, healthcare providers in Missouri and Kansas are restricted from providing telemedicine abortion care, but individual patients can seek out that care in other states or overseas.

Caitlyn Caruso works for the nonprofit Plan C, which links people to resources for accessing abortion pills online. She ways her organization is seeing an increase in demand.

“Following the [Supreme Court] leak we saw an incredible spike in web traffic to our guide that walks people through their options and we saw an incredible increase in web traffic to our partners over at AidAccess that provide advanced provision, which means you can actually request abortion pills in advance of actually needing them.”

Abortion pills refer to two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol, which are approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

In 2021, the FDA authorized abortion pills to be permanently sent by mail and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a statement Friday, warning states not to attempt to ban the medication.

“States may not ban Mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy,” Garland said.

Caruso said that she expects more people to seek out medication abortions, especially in states like Missouri where elective abortions are outlawed.

“We know that people are going to look for other ways to access care and that might look like crossing state lines to a less restrictive state, to use telemedicine to access care, that might look like going through AidAccess. There’s a variety of options we walk people through on our website as well as legal resources,” she said.

After the Supreme Court’s decision overturning a constitutional right to an abortion, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt signed a provision banning abortion providers from operating in the state, with the only exception being in cases of medical emergency.

In Kansas, abortion is still legal until viability, around 22 weeks of pregnancy and severely limited afterward.

Kansas voters will ultimately decide if there is a constitutional right to abortion in the state constitution during the Aug. 2 primary.

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