In 2023, many people have used their smartphone, tablet, or computer to have a video consultation with their doctor or nurse. This has the obvious benefit of allowing people to access medical care from their own homes, as well as making sure that they have immediate access to medical help as and when they need it.
However, in 2022, some US laws came into play that impacted telemedicine and how it’s used, the overturning of Roe v. Wade. These laws prevented women in some states in the US from accessing abortions at any stage of their pregnancy and from six weeks onwards in others.
So, how have these laws impacted telemedicine and access to abortions? Read on to find out.
The Law As It Stands
The overturning of Roe v. Wade has prohibited abortion in fourteen states, like Alabama, whereas some states, like Iowa, have had trouble with their courts in trying to put in a law banning abortion from six weeks onwards. Needless to say, abortion clinics around the US have been flooded with questions from women in states where abortion is illegal, relating to traveling out of state to get an abortion, as well as having medication for a medical abortion sent to their home.
Indeed, these clinics have even been offering out-of-state medical appointments to women via a smartphone app to assess their suitability for an abortion. If they’re given the green light, then the medication is sent to their home for them to have a medical abortion.
Of course, at the present time, there’s no law against this, so telemedicine appointments for abortions have increased. However, many legal representatives anticipate that this, in itself, may lead to issues in the future, especially as many of the fourteen states where abortions are banned are aiming to put legal pressure on women who travel out of state to get abortions.
What To Expect
If you’re one of the women who need to access an abortion via a telemedical appointment, you can expect to have a virtual consultation with a doctor or a nurse.
They’ll ask you how far along your pregnancy is (the further along it is, the harder it will be to have a medical abortion), if you have any health issues, whether you’re taking any medication, if you’ve had an abortion in the past, and will then talk you through the process.
They will also ask you for your address so they can send you the medication; this will be either mifepristone or misoprostol. During the appointment, they will guide you through what to expect, as well as advise you on signs that there’s an issue.
Signs of An Issue
When you have a medical termination, it’s unlikely that anything will go wrong, as this is a safe and effective method. However, if you have very heavy bleeding, prolonged discomfort, a fever, nausea, or fainting spells, then you need to seek medical help. There are no legal ramifications for seeking help for an issue with an abortion; just be sure to take along the packet of the medication that was used so your doctor can decide on the best course of action.