Doctors Trying to Prescribe Abortion Pills Across State Lines Stymied by Legislation

by | Apr 6, 2022 | Health

Soon after Dr. Mai Fleming finished her medical residency in the San Francisco Bay Area, she got to work on her Texas medical license. The family medicine doctor had no intention of moving there but invested nine months to master Texas medical law, submit to background checks, get fingerprinted, and pay hundreds of dollars in licensing fees.

It’s a process she has since completed for more than a dozen other states — most recently New Mexico, in February.

“Where I live is an area where abortion is really readily accessible,” said Fleming, who practices in San Francisco, California. “My approach has been to broaden access beyond my geographic bubble.”

Fleming is among a wave of doctors, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers who are getting licensed in multiple states so they can use telemedicine and mail-order pharmacies to help more women get medication abortions.

But they’re increasingly being stymied by state regulations. Many states already restrict doctors’ ability to consult with patients online or by phone and/or dispense abortion pills through mail-order pharmacies. A crop of new legislation could shut them out, pushed by lawm …

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