Facebook temporarily banned users who said they would mail abortion pills: report

Talk of access to abortion pills has escalated since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week

Facebook removed posts from users last week who shared updates about abortion pills being mailed and temporarily banned some users amid a move by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Vice reported that the social media giant began removing the posts on Friday, the same day the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion was undone. 

"I will mail abortion pills to any one of you. Just message me," a message written by one person who was later banned read.

The unidentified user told Vice that the posting was removed from the site immediately. 


Facebook abortion pills posts

The Facebook logo is shown at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California. The social media giant reportedly removed posts related to abortion pills following the U.S. Supreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.  (Reuters / Reuters)

"I posted it at 11:00 am and was notified within a minute that it was removed. I was not notified until I tried to post later that I was banned for it," the user said. 

To corroborate the tale, a Vice reporter posted the phrase "abortion pills can be mailed" on Facebook and it was flagged within seconds for violating the company's community standards.

When the poster "disagreed" with the decision, the post was removed, the report said. It was reinstated Monday. 

The reporter was able to post "painkiller pills can be mailed," "pills," and "abortion" without issue. Another post saying "abortion pills can be mailed" was flagged for removal but it was not removed once the reported "agreed" with the decision. 

Another post saying "abortion pills can be mailed" was flagged but the reporter again "agreed" with the decision. The reporter's Facebook account was suspended for 24 hours.

Abortion pill mifepristone

Containers of the medication used to end an early pregnancy sit on a table inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, Oct. 29, 2021, in Fairview Heights, Ill. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson / AP Newsroom)


Facebook referred Fox Business to a tweet from Andy Stone, the communications director for Facebook parent Meta

"Content that attempts to buy, sell, trade, gift, request or donate pharmaceuticals is not allowed. Content that discusses the affordability and accessibility of prescription medication is allowed," he wrote. "We've discovered some instances of incorrect enforcement and are correcting these."

Facebook's policy states that it prohibits "attempts by individuals, manufacturers and retailers to purchase, sell or trade nonmedical drugs, pharmaceutical drugs and marijuana."

In December, the FDA lifted restrictions on access to abortion pills – allowing patients to receive them by mail.