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The online pharmacy Nurx advertises itself as the company that “gives women sexual freedom.” Hims & Hers aims to “eliminate stigma” and improve health care access. Tia offers telehealth services focused on “whole woman, whole life.” And on the day in December that the Food and Drug Administration declared abortion pills will be permanently available by mail, The Pill Club tweeted its support.

And yet, one month since the FDA’s announcement and close to two years after abortion pills became available by mail in 13 states, none of these telemedicine companies — though they’re explicitly focused on women’s sexual health — has chosen to offer the treatment.


To offer telemedicine abortion, the companies would have to contend with regulatory hurdles: 19 states have banned remote prescribing of abortion pills, and in other states, rules vary, and pills need to be prescribed by a specially certified health provider. But four former employees of Hims & Hers and The Pill Club told STAT the bitterly polarized debate around abortion in the U.S. and concerns about losing customers are major reasons these firms have avoided adding abortion pills to their offerings. Meanwhile, a former physician at Nurx said the clinical team had recommended providing the abortion pills, but leadership had yet to act on it, and a consultant to Tia described how the pressure for revenue drove company strategy.

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