*CLRJ believes that everyone has a right to decide if, when, and how they become a parent. The right to choose and access to the abortion healthcare services they need is a fundamental to our struggle for Reproductive Justice. As an advocacy organization that fights for people’s right to bodily autonomy we believe it is important for people to receive scientific and medically accurate information. The content on this page are resources to help folks learn more about abortion and abortion access.

For more detailed information on abortion access in California visit https://abortion.ca.gov

What is medication abortion?

Medication abortion, sometimes called the “abortion pill”, is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy. In the United States, medication abortion consists of two different medicines: mifepristone and misoprostol.

How does medication abortion work?

Mifepristone is taken first. It is a medication that blocks the hormone called progesterone, which is needed for a pregnancy to grow. Misoprostol is taken next. It is a medication that causes cramping, bleeding, and uterine contractions to push pregnancy tissue out. It is kind of like having a really heavy, crampy, period.

What is a virtual clinic?

A virtual clinic is a medical care clinic that exists solely online in which doctors and clinicians can provide care by telehealth. Virtual clinics may also send patients medications by mail through a pharmacy or directly. Patients will typically need a phone or a device with internet access to receive care.

What does telehealth mean?

Telehealth, sometimes called telemedicine, is the use of telecommunication technologies to provide medical care or services when a patient and a doctor are not in the same place at the same time.

Telehealth can consist of:

  • Synchronous, or “live,” communication through phone or video chat. 
  • Sending and receiving messages from the medical care provider through secure chat messaging, e-mail, and/or file exchange.

What are the benefits of a virtual clinic?

Although virtual clinics may not be as common as traditional brick-and-mortar clinics and seeing a clinician in-person, there are many benefits show why this type of care is desired:

  • Virtual clinics can address health issues wherever patients are, even from the comfort of their own home.
  • Making an appointment with a virtual clinic can eliminate travel time and distance, commuting, taking time off from work, and the need for child care.
  • Virtual clinics can also shorten waiting times and expand access to specialists who live further away.

*Please note CLRJ does not provide legal or medical advice.

**This page was created in partnership with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSRH) through the California Home Abortion by Telehealth (CHAT) Study.