New York City‘s health system has become the first in the nation to offer “on demand” virtual “abortion access,” the city announced on Monday.
NYC Health + Hospitals and New York City Mayor Eric Adams launched the abortion program through “Virtual ExpressCare,” according to a news release from the city’s health system.
“Beginning this week, patients in New York City seeking abortion care will be able to schedule a Virtual ExpressCare appointment to speak with a New York state-licensed health care professional by video or phone, on-demand, for an assessment and counseling,” the release says. “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.”
Women in New York City who are seeking to abort their unborn babies can access the service seven days a week, but they have to be able to attest that they will be in the city when they take the abortion drugs. If the women ask to receive abortion drugs by mail, the address “must be in New York City,” the release said, and the abortion drugs are available to “clinically eligible patients who are up to 10 weeks into their pregnancy.”
Adams attributed the new abortion promotion to the city’s desire to fight back against the Supreme Court’s June 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
This is not the only step Adams has taken to promote abortion post-Roe. In November 2022, he announced the opening of an “abortion access hub” that “confidentially” connects callers with abortionists in the city. As of June, that hub had claimed to have connected almost 2,000 callers with abortionists.
He also signed legislation that makes abortion drugs free at the city’s sexual health clinics, his office said in June, making New York City’s Health Department the first in the country to offer free abortion drugs in this manner.
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