An abortion is a process or procedure that ends a pregnancy. The term abortion is usually used for an induced abortion, which is when a person takes action to end a pregnancy. Abortion is a basic health care need for millions of people worldwide who can become pregnant. In the United States, an estimated 1 in 4 women have an abortion in their lifetime.
While the need for abortion is common, access to safe and legal abortion services is increasingly limited in the United States, following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision in June 2022. Abortion is now banned or extremely restricted in many U.S. states, denying essential care to people who choose to end their pregnancies as well as those who need treatment for pregnancy loss.
Los Angeles County, with the support of the state of California, is committed to becoming an Abortion Safe Haven, where anyone who needs an abortion can access it without barriers.
Conversations about abortion are often clouded by misinformation. Please explore this website to learn about abortion, find local abortion and family planning resources, and access variety of state and national resources.
Access to abortion is fundamental to the health of individuals, families, and communities and is a public health issue. In the United States, abortion is common and extremely safe. Despite its demonstrated safety record, abortion has been extensively regulated and restricted. Even before the Dobbs decision, access to abortion care was increasingly difficult for many Americans.
Research has proven that restrictions on abortion access cause harm to women’s physical and mental health as well as their social and economic well-being, and that of their children. The harms that result from barriers to abortion disproportionately impact the most vulnerable or marginalized people in our society, including people with low incomes; people of color; young people; people with disabilities; immigrants; people in rural communities; survivors of violence; lesbian, bisexual, queer women; and transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex people.
Given the ongoing crisis of Black and Indigenous maternal and infant mortality, the abortion bans and restrictions many states have implemented are expected to result in additional illness and death.
For these reasons and more, access to abortion is a public health priority for the County of Los Angeles. Abortion also is a key reproductive justice issue—a component of the complex, intersecting rights and conditions that allow people of color to regain and maintain autonomy over their own bodies and pregnancies, their ability to have or not have children, and to raise the children they have in safe and sustainable communities.
Update on Access to Abortion Pill, Mifepristone: Still Legal and Accessible… For Now
Access to abortion is fundamental to the health of individuals, families, and communities.
You may have heard that the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated (set aside) a Texas U.S. District Court’s ruling that would have taken the abortion pill, mifepristone, off the market. This means that both the brand and generic versions of mifepristone remain on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) approved drug list and continue to be available for people seeking early abortion in California and other states that have not restricted or banned it.
While strong evidence demonstrates that mifepristone may safely be prescribed by telemedicine, dispensed through the mail, and used up to and beyond 10 weeks estimated gestational age, the Appeals Court sided with the Texas U.S. District Court, rolling back mifepristone’s usage to in-person visits and only up to seven weeks gestation. If allowed to stand, this would impact all people seeking abortion care and disproportionately harm our most marginalized communities, specifically people of color, people with low incomes, people in rural communities, and many other vulnerable populations who already experience barriers to health care and abortion.
To be clear: For now, pending further review by the U.S. Supreme Court, there will be no change in the current availability of mifepristone to doctors or patients. This means that mifepristone continues to be available for use through 10 - 11 weeks estimated gestational age, can be accessed through telehealth appointments, and can be dispensed by mail.
We want to ensure all communities in LA County know that they continue to have access to abortion care, including the abortion pill.