95% of online pharmacies are illegal. Here's what that means as the abortion pill fight grows

While social media platforms tackle dangerous "DIY abortion" trends and organizations that sell medication abortion rush to respond to high demand, illegal online pharmacies are poised to trick consumers seeking abortion pills, Politico reported Aug. 1.

After the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June, medication abortion — a two-pill regimen intended to end a pregnancy in the first trimester — was primed to take center stage in courthouses and legislative meetings. The result is more complicated than that. 

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has found more than 35,000 websites that don't fit regulations. Of those, "nearly 95 percent of websites offering prescription-only drugs online operate illegally," and 9 in 10 of them waive prescription requirements, according to NABP

"Counterfeit criminals go to where there's demand — and there's demand and there's access challenges," Libby Baney, a senior adviser to advocacy group Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, told Politico. "That creates criminal opportunity and a major patient safety risk."

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker told The Washington Post that the federal government needs to do more to secure access to medication abortion regardless of state policies. 

"People ought to be able to receive their medication in the privacy of their own home even if they live in a state where the procedure is not allowed," he told the Post

Twenty-nine states don't allow mail-order abortion medications, and five states ban or restrict the regimen, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a left-leaning research group.

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