Abortion pill startup provides meds to women who aren’t pregnant yet – CBS News

An abortion care company is selling pills that end unwanted pregnancies to patients who aren’t yet pregnant to help allay anxiety around access to abortion following the Supreme Court’s overturning of abortion rights. 

The startup Choix (pronounced “Choice”) on Wednesday announced that it will begin providing patients abortion pills before they are needed in states where the procedure is legal and the company is licensed to operate, including California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine and New Mexico.

“Advance provision is the same medication, it’s just providing the pills in case a patient needs them in the future and decides to use them,” Choix co-founder and chief executive officer Cindy Adam told CBS MoneyWatch. 

The company described advance provision as an important extension of its services given the recent reversal of nearly 50 years of U.S. law.

It “helps alleviate the stress and barriers that come with accessing a highly stigmatized and politicized form of care — even in states where abortion is legal — by putting the power to decide back into the hands of that person seeking care,” Adam said.

Providing “peace of mind” for patients

For patients seeking abortions, having the medication on hand provides “peace of mind,” according to the company. 

“Our experience has been that for some people, the period between finding out that they’re pregnant and receiving abortion pills in the mail or the wait time associated with in-person care can be extremely stressful,” Adam said. “And that’s compounded by the current legal and logistical challenges people face. This helps reduce those barriers.”

It’s already common for doctors to prescribe medications for ailments like physical pain or anxiety in advance of a patient needing them. 

To obtain abortion medication for future use, Choix patients must fill out a five-question form on the company’s website. A Choix provider reviews the patient’s medical history, and if the patient is approved, the company delivers the two-drug combination of mifepristone and misoprostol to them within a couple of days. 

If the patient later becomes pregnant and wishes to use the pills, they are asked to return to Choix for a telehealth consultation with a medical provider who will lead them through the abortion process.

The pills are sold on a sliding scale and cost between $175 and $289 per prescription. Patients are limited to one prescription each, and are asked to affirm that they are obtaining the medication for themselves. Adam noted that the company had received a number of inquiries from mothers wishing to obtain the pills for their daughters who were heading to college, but the company only prescribes pills to the person requesting care. 

“The $289 price point covers the cost of care, but we also offer them at $175 to better support patients who need additional financial support. Even $175 can be too much for a lot of people, so we also partner with abortion funds,” Adam said. 

Abortion funds have seen a surge in donations as more patients seek financial assistance in cases where they have to travel long distances to seek out legal care. 

More than half — 54% — of all abortions in the U.S. are done using medication, according to the Guttmacher Institute.  

Choix’s service is “practical but also very symbolic right now when so much of that decision-making power is being taken away,” Adams said. “We want to give some of it back.”