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New York City now offers abortion pills via mail with 'on-demand' virtual appointments
Democratic Mayor of New York City Eric Adams (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

New York City now offers abortion pills via mail with 'on-demand' virtual appointments

New York City is now offering abortion pills delivered via mail following an "on-demand" virtual appointment, Democratic Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday.

The city's public health system is now the first in the nation to provide women with abortion pills via telehealth. Patients can receive a prescription with only a virtual or phone appointment with a health care provider from the "comfort of one's home." The pills will then be delivered to the patient's New York City address "within days."

"New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Health + Hospitals today launched telehealth abortion access through Virtual ExpressCare – becoming the first public health system in the nation to do so – and further expanding New Yorkers' access to abortion care while Americans' reproductive rights remain under attack across the nation," the mayor's office stated Monday.

New Yorkers will have access to this new service starting this week. It will be available seven days per week between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

"If clinically appropriate and prescribed, patients will be able to receive a medication abortion kit at their New York City address within a few days," the mayor's office added.

Adams stated, "Here in New York City, we will not allow the far right to continue its crusade to strip women of their reproductive rights. Last year, an activist Supreme Court undermined almost 50 years of settled law by overturning Roe v. Wade, but New Yorkers know that access to safe, legal abortion care is the cornerstone of public health, and we will not stand idly by as these attacks on women continue."

"In New York City, we will never stop fighting for a woman's right to choose the care that is right for them, and we will never stop working to make abortion care more accessible to all New Yorkers," he continued. "Telehealth abortion care allows the people in our lives to make the choices they need privately and safely, so that they can decide what is best for them and their futures. This is about protecting the ability for women to control their own bodies, their choices, and their freedoms."

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom called the announcement "an important next step in making reproductive health care conversations easy, accessible, and convenient for every person."

NYC Health + Hospitals' executive director of Virtual ExpressCare, Erfan Karim, noted that the new services would make it "easy and convenient to access care."

The public health care system serves patients regardless of their ability to pay. Those with insurance may be expected to cover a co-pay.

The abortion pills can only be sent to a New York City address, and patients must confirm that they are in the city at the time of the appointment and when they plan to take the prescription.

Hospital officials acknowledged that out-of-state patients could exploit a loophole in the service's restrictions by having the prescription mailed to friends or family residing in New York City, Gothamist reported.

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