Dozens of states have denied access to abortion, causing reproductive health providers to scramble. Some clinics are turning to mobile, hoping that the flexibility to move along the fringes of states that ban or severely restrict abortion will reduce the costly and time-consuming burden on patients who are forced to travel hundreds of miles for health care.
Decoupling from brick-and-mortar stores should allow mobile clinics to go wherever they are most needed as providers try to adapt Rapidly changing abortion access map In some U.S. states, the legality of the process has flipped several times since last month’s Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.
Abortion access nonprofit Just the Pill plans to build a fleet of mobile clinics to offer mobile procedural abortions “for the first time in U.S. history,” the nonprofit said.
The program, called Abortion Delivered, is in response to patient demand, which surged after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Just the Pill typically receives 20 to 25 requests for abortion pills a day from patients. But in just three days after Dobbs made his decision, it had more than 260.
Founded in 2020, Just the Pill provides reproductive health care services in Colorado, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming. Some of their services include medical abortion, which usually consists of a two-tablet regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol.
The group currently operates two mobile clinics in Colorado and plans to build its network of vans and deploy them in states where abortion is legal but neighboring states have banned it, such as New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
“Our mobile clinics will travel to parts of these states based on where the need is greatest,” Just The Pill’s medical director Julie Amaon told Healthcare Dive.
It’s just that Pill’s long-term plan is to run 30 clinics across the U.S., and the timeline depends on fundraising, Amaon said.
One of the vans currently serving Illinois is Just the Pill’s largest to date, with two examination rooms and a recovery room. It costs over $500,000.
In addition to abortion care, mobile clinics that also offer birth control are bulletproof.
Mobile health clinics have long been seen as a way to cut costs and expand healthcare delivery, especially in underserved or marginalized communities. A 2009 Boston study found that the return on investment of a mobile health clinic called The Family Van was The program is $36 per $1 invested. Mobile clinics can also provide primary and preventive care, an important feature because Lack of health care services in many parts of the United States.
Currently, there are An estimated 2,000 mobile clinics In the United States, nearly 7 million visits are provided each year.
“Mobile clinics remove the three main barriers to care: distance, time, and cost,” while also building trust within a given community, said Molly Williams, executive director of Home Van, a Harvard Medical School affiliate Mobile Health Clinic, which does not provide abortion services.
“With the pandemic and the recent changes around abortion laws, it has really exacerbated this barrier to trust,” Williams said.
Advocates hope the mHealth model can provide an alternative gateway to the health care system for medically disenfranchised patients who cannot access abortion services because of their place of residence.
According to the Healthcare Dive Tracker, 15 states currently ban abortions before the Roe fetal survival line at 24 weeks gestation.
Dobbs’ decision leads to piecing together abortion in US
Abortion legality by state
Reproductive health providers Hey Jane and Choix are also expanding geographically and clinically after Dobbs.
One-year-old Hey Jane provides medical abortion services in New York, California, Washington, Illinois, Colorado and New Mexico. Chief executive Kiki Freedman told Healthcare Dive that following the Supreme Court ruling, the provider’s website traffic increased tenfold and patient demand more than doubled, spurring expansion plans.
Choix, which was founded in 2020 and provides medical abortion services in California, Colorado, Illinois and New Mexico, said its CEO Cindy Adam saw a 600% increase in web traffic on the day Roe dropped and continues to see more than normal traffic flow.
Choix is focused on adding more providers to its team and plans to expand to every state where abortion is legal by the end of 2023.
Advocates say the pill, which can be prescribed in other states and delivered to patients’ homes (or other addresses), is an important mechanism for continuing access to safe abortions.These pills have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more than two decades and currently account for more than half of abortions.
Conservatives have focused on restricting abortion pills and using telemedicine as a The next step in the anti-abortion movement. Currently, 19 states already require clinicians who provide medical abortion to be present in person. Guttmacher graduate School.