Instagram and Facebook have begun to remove posts and temporarily ban users that offer abortion pills to individuals who may not have access to them following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Since Friday, numerous posts and status updates explaining how people can obtain abortion pills in the mail have spread across various social media platforms. Some have even offered to mail abortion pills to individuals living in states where the procedure is currently banned. 

According to The Associated Press and VICE, Instagram and Facebook immediately began removing some of these posts. A data analysis by media intelligence firm Zignal Labs showed that general mentions of abortion pills, as well as posts mentioning mifepristone and misoprostol, the medication used to induce an abortion, suddenly spiked Friday morning across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and TV broadcasts. By Sunday, Zignal had counted more than 250,000 mentions across social media. 

On Monday, The Associated Press conducted an experiment to test how fast Meta, the parent of Facebook and Instagram, would respond to a post directly mentioning abortion pills. An AP reporter wrote a post on Facebook saying: “If you send me your address, I will mail you abortion pills.” 

The post was removed within one minute, and their Facebook account was immediately put on a “warning” status for the post, which Facebook said violated its standards on “guns, animals and other regulated goods.” The AP reporter made the same exact post, but swapped out the words “abortion pills” for “a gun,” and then “weed.” Both posts were left up and not considered a violation, according to AP. 

Marijuana is illegal under federal law in the United States, and it’s illegal to send through the mail. However, abortion pills can be obtained legally through the mail after an online consultation with a certified medical professional or prescriber. 

Meta spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed in a tweet on Monday that the company will not allow individuals to gift or sell pharmaceuticals on its social media platforms, but it will allow content that shares information on how to access abortion pills.

With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, some Republican-controlled states have banned, or are considering to ban, access to abortion pills. For example, in Texas, it’s a criminal act to send abortion pills through the mail. States like West Virginia and Tennessee have prohibited providers from prescribing abortion pills through telemedicine consultation. 

In addition to Instagram and Facebook removing posts that offer abortion pills, CVS, Rite Aid and various U.S. pharmacies have begun to limit purchases of emergency contraception as demand surges. According to CNN, Amazon has a temporary purchase limit of three units per week on emergency contraceptive pills, including Plan B. 

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