Online abortion pills come to the U.S.

Activists expect that demand will increase for medication-driven terminations, which account for a third of all U.S. abortions. The regimen involves two drugs: mifepristone, sold in the U.S. by Danco Laboratories and branded Mifeprex, disrupts the pregnancy, and then misoprostol triggers uterine contractions that expel the fetus.

In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration updated mifepristone’s labeling to lower the dose and let women use it through nine weeks of pregnancy. But women still have to make two visits to the doctor, and they can’t get the drug from pharmacies. It is be dispensed only in clinics or medical offices by specially certified health care providers.

In contrast, Women on Web, which uses mifepristone made by an Indian company, provides pills after a woman consults online with the prescribing doctor and gets a blood test. An ultrasound is recommended, but not required. Instructions explain how to use the drugs, what to expect and when to see a doctor if problems occur.