Press release

carafem Introduces “Cara,” First Virtual Assistant to Facilitate Abortion Care via Telemedicine, With Increased Access to the Abortion Pill, Mifepristone by Mail

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carafem, a leader in abortion care, is proud to announce the launch of “Cara,” a groundbreaking virtual assistant, facilitating abortion care at home with access to the abortion pill, mifepristone by mail and 24/7 personalized emotional and medical support for clients in Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.

“We applaud the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for lifting restrictions on the ability to receive mifepristone by mail to improve the health and safety for people choosing this option during a public health emergency,” says Melissa Grant, COO of carafem. “There is absolutely no scientific or medical justification for requiring pregnant people to travel to a hospital, clinic, or medical office during COVID-19 to access the abortion pill. Our new virtual assistant, “Cara” now allows carafem clients access to 24/7 medical support while they safely use the abortion pill at home.”

Due to pandemic barriers, carafem saw an 87% increase in inquiries regarding abortion pills by mail, demonstrating that telemedicine abortion is an essential medical service. The changes announced by the FDA will help people seeking abortion care to avoid unnecessary barriers like traveling miles away to find abortion care, arranging for child care, and taking time off from work and family.

Since 2014, carafem has offered improved access to reproductive healthcare through telehealth. This 21st-century medical care option assures greater access to care while reducing barriers associated with unnecessary cost. As abortion restrictions have continued to grow from coast to coast, carafem quickly pivoted to ensure people are able to access abortion care more quickly, safely, and affordably. To date, carafem has provided care for over 3,500 clients using telehealth technology. Offering options for participation in the Gynuity Health Project’s ​TelAbortion Study​, a research project aiming to evaluate the use of telemedicine for those who prefer to receive the abortion pill by mail, allowed this care to proceed even before this most recent change by the FDA.

“carafem’s mission is to improve access for abortion services while ensuring clients receive the highest quality, medically supported guidance throughout their entire telemedicine journey,” adds Grant. “Right from their home, or where they feel most comfortable, people can use the abortion pill with personalized support via “Cara,” a 24/7 text-based support system. “Cara” works like a personalized team of experts that goes with you wherever you go and not just during normal business hours.”

“Cara” (1-855-SAY-CARA), carafem’s proprietary virtual assistant, was created to help users feel more comfortable and confident in their at-home abortion care experience. “Cara” provides fast, personalized support and information, along with friendly reminders like when to take their medications so the client does not have to keep track. “Cara” eliminates the need for phone tag and provides real-time answers and support for concerns people might have while taking the abortion pill at home. If necessary, it seamlessly connects clients to a live member of the carafem medical team who can see a complete full health record of every client for personalized and informed care at any time of day.

“Via ‘Cara,’ our medically supported at-home abortion care services are now within reach of people that have been traditionally unable to access abortion care. Medically supported at-home abortion pills represent a form of reproductive freedom and a critical tool to increase access – giving people the opportunity to make choices that are best for them, comfortably and conveniently, even those living in more isolated rural communities,” concludes Grant. “Ultimately, the most important aspect of carafem is our commitment to ensuring clients experience judgment-free care and the respect they deserve.”

Over the next two years, carafem is expanding its at-home abortion care services to all legally allowing states.

carafem provides convenient, modern, and professional abortion care as well as customized birth control options so people can control the number and spacing of their children. carafem is changing the environment of abortion care by making its services and information accessible, understandable, and supportive. carafem currently operates in the metro areas of Washington DC, Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN, and Chicago, IL.