The number of daily visitors to Aid Access, an Austria-based telemedicine group that supplies drugs from pharmacies in India, rose from around 1,300 on Monday – the day POLITICO reported on the draft notice – to more by 38,000 on Tuesday, according to Christie Pitney, a clinician with access to aids.

And online abortion clinic Hey Jane reported a 24-34% increase in people searching for the pills week-over-week, with overall traffic to the site quadrupling.

People are increasingly looking for “planned” abortion pills – to get them now in case they need them later – because they fear access will be canceled if deer is finally overthrown.

“Most people just say they’re terrified of when the decision will be finalized. They want to make sure they have access to the pills by then,” Pitney said. people who have IUDs in place or who have bilateral tubal ligations who think, ‘I know I’ll probably never need it, but I just want to have it on hand just in case.'”

Mothers have also requested the drugs – which have a shelf life of several years – for their daughters in case the pills are needed later, as well as people who have had pregnancy complications and do not want to repeat them, a said Pitney.

If the Supreme Court adopts the draft opinion, experts predict that people seeking abortions will turn more to telemedicine and abortion pills that can be discreetly delivered to homes. And after the FDA’s decision in December to lift rules requiring doctors to physically dispense pills, they said the rise of online power only underscored the potential role of telehealth in the looming fight for the right to abortion.

In 2020, medical abortion was the leading means of abortion, according to preliminary data from abortion rights group the Guttmacher Institute.

People in states that potentially ban abortion could cross state lines and access virtual care from their vehicle to get the pills prescribed, or turn to groups like Aid Access that deliver to all 50 states. Some companies are planning to add services in other states to meet increased demand.

“We see ourselves as uniquely positioned to be able to really support and offload the stress that’s going to be put on physical clinics and is already being put on physical clinics,” said Cindy Adam, CEO of Choice, an online health clinic. reproductive. “Patients are going to need other options.”

Research has shown that telemedicine medical abortion is comparable in quality to the in-person procedure and that adverse events occur less than 0.2% of the time.

Still, online companies have said virtual care has limitations.

Even now, 19 states ban telemedicine abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and more could join that list if the draft advisory becomes the court’s ruling. For the relatively small proportion of people for whom the pills do not work, they should have an abortion in a facility. Additionally, most patients are either unaware of the pills or misinformed about them, according to medical groups, surveys and abortion rights advocates.

Monday’s news added to the plethora of misinformation.

“What surprised me was when I call people for their dates, and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, I’m so glad you called,’ expecting that it’s illegal, because people are confused about the [draft opinion] leaked,” said Julie Amaon, medical director of Just the Pill, which offers telemedicine abortions in Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming.

Leah Coplon, director of clinical operations at Abortion on Demand, which serves more than 20 states, worries that a surge of people receiving pills ahead of time could disrupt the supply chain. She said she understood why people might want to have the pills on hand.

Others, however, said they were taken aback by the interest generated by the publication of the Court’s draft opinion.

“We are not ready for the ramp-up. No one is, so that’s the really scary part,” Amaon said. “So we are doing our best to be ready for this push. But I fear that no state is ready for what is to come. »