WASHINGTON, DC (WVNS)– U.S. Senator Tim Kaine co-sponsored legislation to protect access to mail-order medication abortion in states where abortion is still available, he told reporters on Wednesday.

Specifically, the Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act would codify Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines issued during the COVID pandemic so that women can continue to access abortion medications through telehealth and certified pharmacies, including mail-order pharmacies.

“Telemedicine is a critical tool for many Americans,” said Senator Kaine. “This legislation would help ensure women can access medication abortions via telehealth and would reduce barriers for women seeking an abortion.”

One in four American women have an abortion, and over half of those abortions are medication abortions. In the two decades since the approval of medication abortion, studies have consistently found that medication abortions prescribed through telehealth are safe and effective. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs overruling the right to abortion, some states have already moved to limit access to abortion medication through telemedicine.

During the COVID pandemic, the FDA has allowed patients to remotely consult with a provider and have abortion medication shipped through the mail, but the added flexibility is tied to the COVID public health emergency. The Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act would expand this permanently. The bill would also reduce barriers to access like the need to travel to a clinic, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

Kaine introduced legislation with his Senate colleagues to expand access to affordable over-the-counter birth control. Kaine is a co-sponsor of legislation to protect the right of women to travel across state lines for abortion services and help protect medical providers from being punished for providing patients with this care.