Update on medication abortion
Learn more about how patients, providers, and pharmacies may be affected by the court order seeking to restrict access to mifepristone here. Every form of abortion—including medication abortion—is still available and protected in California.
Information for patients
The April 7, 2023, federal district court ruling in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug seeks to restrict the accessibility of mifepristone across the country. But the ruling does not limit your ability to get a medication abortion in California.
If this ruling goes into effect, you can still use a misoprostol-only regimen for a medication abortion. Many studies have found misoprostol-only medication abortion is safe and effective. This includes a February 2023 study and guidance from the American Council of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. This form of medication abortion is used both nationally and internationally. Ibis Reproductive Health has more information about misoprostol-only medication abortions.
If you want to travel to California for a medication abortion, you can use our California abortion finder to find a health care provider. You can filter the results for providers that offer medication abortion either in-person or through telehealth.
For individuals seeking a medication abortion with commercial health insurance, the California Department of Managed Health Care Help Center can be reached by phone at (888-466-2219) or online at healthhelp.ca.gov.
For individuals seeking a medication abortion with Medi-Cal coverage, the California Department of Health Care Services has an Ombudsman hotline that can be reached by phone at (888-452-8609). Individuals with Medi-Cal Fee-for-Service can call the Telephone Service Center at (916-541-5555) for assistance.
Information for pharmacies and providers
What is the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ stance on the safety and efficacy of a misoprostol-only medication abortion?
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and others have found that misoprostol-only medication abortion is safe and effective. This form of medication abortion is used both nationally and internationally. ACOG has also released this statement regarding the recent federal court ruling.
How does a pharmacy or provider get access to the state’s stockpile?
Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California has secured Misoprostol in advance of the court ruling, through CalRx, helping ensure that Californians continue to have access to medication abortion and essential reproductive healthcare. The Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) in coordination with the Department of Public Health (CDPH) will help both pharmacies and providers gain access to the reserve of misoprostol as needed.
If a pharmacy or provider has exhausted all avenues through resource sharing partnerships and multiple vendor contacts to obtain misoprostol on their own, they should submit a request through the Medical Health Operational Area Coordination (MHOAC) program (CA HSC §17i97.153). HCAI and CDPH will work together to evaluate and distribute the drug to approved entities within 7-10 business days. To start your request, contact your county's MHOAC and provide the following information:
- Licensed provider/organization name
- License number
- Primary Point of Contact Name and Phone #
- Secondary Point of Contact Name and Phone #
- Shipping address
- Receiving hours
- Quantity requested (min: 1 bottle of 60 tablets; max: 10 bottles of 60 tablets)
What criteria will the state use to fulfill requests from pharmacies or providers?
As with all requests submitted through the state’s mutual aid system, the state will evaluate each request to determine what supply chain issues the pharmacy or provider is experiencing and determine the location of the pharmacy or provider to ensure the reserve is used to equitably increase access.
Will the state provide the medication for free to pharmacies and providers?
The state will make the reserve of the medication free of charge to pharmacies and providers whose requests are approved and fulfilled through the state’s mutual aid system.