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Anti-abortion politicians are standing in the way of all types of safe, effective, affordable methods of abortion care. In fact, between 2011-2017, politicians have passed more than 400 state laws that make it difficult – sometimes impossible – to get an abortion. They make abortion unaffordable and shut down clinics while attempting to shame and punish people who have abortions.

In many states, politicians have imposed regulations that create barriers to the use of medication abortion specifically, as well as to safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable abortion services generally. The regulations often prohibit qualified providers from providing services, misinform women of the risks of the procedures they are considering, overrule patients’ and clinicians’ medical decision making, or require medically unnecessary services and delays in care.

In 19 states politicians have banned the use of telemedicine to prescribe medication abortion.


Some people who end their own pregnancies are interrogated, arrested, and charged by law enforcement for a criminal act. There are five states with laws that make self-managing an abortion a crime. At least twenty-one people — possibly even more — have been arrested or prosecuted for ending their own pregnancy or for helping someone else end their pregnancy since 2000. Forty different types of laws that exist in nearly every state have been used to arrest and put a person in jail who ends their own pregnancy.

Arrests and prosecutions of people who seek to safely self-manage their abortions are likely to disproportionately impact the same people who are most affected by restrictions on abortion and other forms of criminalization: people of color, poor people, immigrants, LGBTQI people, disabled people, young people, and others who face the most barriers to reproductive health care.

Visit If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice for more information on criminalization

If you or someone you know is being investigated, detained, arrested, or concerned they might be questioned by the police for having an abortion, contact the Repro Legal Helpline.