Mexican network begins export of abortion pills to US in the wake of Roe decision

A Mexican abortion group is ramping up efforts to send abortion pills to the US, where access to the procedure has become restricted in some states.

Since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in June, which legalized abortion nationwide, the group has been bombarded with calls and messages from people in the US looking for abortion pills, a short New York Times documentary uncovered.

The group is called “Las Libres” meaning “the free ones.”

The group used to get 10 calls from women in the US per day, a number that has shot up to 100 calls per day in the wake of the Roe v Wade decision. The states calls are coming from have also become more diverse, whereas they used to come from Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida.

“Now they’re coming from everywhere,” one staff member told the Times.

“We don’t ask for a lot of information,” staff said. “We don’t know their names or ages.”

Staff also said women on the phone sound distressed and sometimes desperate.

The pills are donated by pharmaceuticals and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Since 2021, the pills are also approved to be sent by mail from certified providers.

But states moving away from abortion are also banning abortion pills. In Texas, dispensing the pill is a criminal offense punishable by jail time.

Virtually prescribing the pill is now prohibited in 19 states.

Las Libres ships the pills to Mexican border cities to be hand delivered by volunteers. American women travel across the border to receive the pills.

In states banning abortion, it’s unclear whether women receiving pills or distributing them will face prosecution. The group plans to continue distributing the pills.

Las Libres asked the New York Times not to film how they package the pills to protect the women receiving the pills.

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