May 24 • 36M

How Tech is Defending the Right to an Abortion (w/Kiki Freedman)

We talk to the co-founder of abortion pill company Hey Jane

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Eric Newcomer
A podcast about Silicon Valley, hosted by newsletter writer Eric Newcomer and Tom Dotan, with Katie Benner as a regular special guest.
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As the Supreme Court moves toward repealing Roe v. Wade, access to abortion pills over the internet could become a key frontier in the fight for abortion access in the United States.

On this week’s Dead Cat podcast, Tom Dotan, Katie Benner, and I talked to Kiki Freedman, the co-founder and CEO of the digital clinic for abortion access Hey Jane. (Freedman also worked at Uber for four years as an early Uber Eats employee.)

Hey Jane has raised more than $3 million in funding to provide abortion pills in California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, and Washington.

Like companies treating ADHD that we talked about earlier this month on the podcast, Hey Jane has been able to expand access to medication through telemedicine. Instead of prescribing Adderall, however, Hey Jane is prescribing abortion pills.

Benner, who writes about the U.S. Department of Justice for the New York Times, updates us on her prognosis for the legal status of abortions in America.

This week, Politico published a story headlined The Coming Legal Battles Over Abortion Pills:

“The anti-abortion movement has prepared for this moment and is already focusing on restricting access to pills, knowing that abortion bans will be far less effective if states cannot keep the drugs from entering their borders. Nineteen states do not allow medication abortion via telehealth, others prohibit sending pills through the mail, and some states are introducing legislation that would ban the drugs entirely. But enforcing those laws will be uncharted territory, with new avenues for evading state bans as well as new legal challenges about whether federal or state law reigns supreme in some instances.”

In our interview, Freedman recommends that people looking to support the right to abortion access donate to groups subsidizing abortions. Hey Jane has pulled together a list of funds that you can donate to.

On the podcast, we discuss the role that tech companies can play in expanding access to abortion.

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