First Public Hospitals in NYC to Offer Telehealth Abortions

Starting this week, NYC Health + Hospitals will offer abortion services from home through a telehealth appointment. This is the first public health system in the United States to offer this sort of service, eliminating in-person appointments for perscriptions.

New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, said in a press conference that "access to safe, legal abortion care is the cornerstone of public health. In New York City, it will always be."

The service, Virtual ExpressCare, will be available seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and medication will be immediately mailed to the patient as long as they live in New York City.

By utilizing technology and telemedicine, Adams said it addresses a "major demand."

On the heels of this news, Planed Parenthood of Greater New York is launching their own virtual health center. However, they will not be offering telehealth services for abortions.

The future of abortion medication

Currently, with so many restrictions and bans on abortion around the country due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, New York City is considered a haven for those seeking abortion services.

Abortion pills have been popular and are the most common method to end a pregnancy. However, with patients having to go in to a clinic to receive the medicine, the FDA decided to allow abortion pills available via telemedicine during the pandemic. In 2023, the Biden Administration made the telehealth access permanent.

However, access is met with concerns by anti-abortions groups who took their issues to federal courts in order to restrict access to mifepristone, a medication used for medical abortions.

Currently, any change to mifepristone access is paused by the Supreme Court.

Even if mifepristone is restricted, NYC Health + Hospitals will be able to mail misoprostol, another abortion pill commonly used by patients.

According to Mayor Adams, he and his administration will not "sit on our hands," while abortion access is attacked and possibly restricted.

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