New research calls for relaxation of abortion
care laws in Britain and the USA
29 June, 2020
Experts from The University of Manchester and The University of Bristol are
calling for permanent laws allowing so-called ‘pills by post’ abortion services
to be enacted in Great Britain and the USA, in order to address barriers to
care highlighted by the coronavirus crisis.
Measures taken in response to the pandemic
have had an unprecedented impact on people’s daily lives, and their access to
healthcare – the lockdown has caused clinics to close due to a lack of staff,
childcare and public transport to be less available, and has made people more
reluctant to visit healthcare settings.
Could Coronavirus Make Telemedicine Abortion the New Normal?
Clinics are expanding access with virtual visits and sending pills by mail.
By Anna Louie Sussman
May 19, 2020
Terri first realized she was pregnant in late March. She was isolating at home with her boyfriend in rural upstate New York, where she runs a housecleaning business. At 46, she was sure she didn’t want to become a 60-year-old parent to a teenager. “I was like, ‘No, that’s not going to happen,’” says Terri, who asked to be identified by her first name only. She called the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic, a 40-minute drive away, and took the first appointment available, which was a week-and-a-half later. Uninsured, Terri says she planned to show up at the clinic and “throw [herself] at their mercy.”
But before her appointment, she read about telemedicine abortion. All that was required was a phone consultation with a doctor to establish whether she was less than 10 weeks pregnant (the limit for medication abortion’s approved use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration). Once proven, the clinic would deliver abortion pills by mail, allowing for a quiet, non-surgical procedure at home. For Terri, this was a far better option than potentially exposing herself to COVID-19 at a clinic.
Amid Covid-19, a Call for M.D.s to Mail the Abortion Pill
For decades, the consensus has been that F.D.A. regulations require that the abortion pill be obtained in a clinic. But that’s changing.
By Patrick Adams
May 12, 2020
Last fall, months before America’s first outbreak of the coronavirus, Francine Coeytaux and Elisa Wells, co-founders of the abortion rights advocacy group Plan C, were reaching out to doctors with a question they said was urgent:
“Would you be willing to mail the ‘abortion pills’ to women in their homes?”
Self-Managed Abortions May Be More Difficult to Access Right Now—Here’s What You Need to Know
With supply chain disruptions in India due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, medication abortion may be less accessible—an issue compounded by anti-choice state officials trying to ban the procedure and the FDA.
Apr 14, 2020
If you visit aidaccess.org in search of the abortion pill right now, you won’t be able to find what they’re looking for. Aid Access, a website that offers medication abortion pills by mail for people in the United States seeking to self-manage their abortion, has hit a snag in its supply chain, thanks to a halt in trade out of India because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Because of [COVID-19] the government of India have decided to close all international airports to prevent corona virus outbreak and therefor [sic] the pharmacy in India cannot send the medicines until further notice,” reads a disclosure on the Aid Access website’s consultation page.
British provider to post abortion pills to ensure Northern Irish women have access during pandemic
It said that under Northern Irish law it was only legally permitted to provide abortion for the purpose of preventing grave, permanent injury to the woman's physical or mental health
Amanda Ferguson, Reuters
April 9, 2020
BELFAST — Britain’s leading provider of abortions said it will offer abortion pills to women in Northern Ireland by post to avoid them having to travel to England by ferry now that the coronavirus pandemic has closed air traffic.
Although abortion was decriminalized in Northern Ireland last year, it remains unavailable in the British region after the local health ministry missed an April 1 deadline to begin providing terminations.
The Pandemic Means More People May Be Giving Themselves Abortions
But the abortion pill sites people rely on are in jeopardy.
by Marie Solis
Apr 8 2020
The first time H* needed an abortion, she drove about two hours to the nearest clinic and back, waited 48 hours—the required waiting period for anyone in Tennessee seeking an abortion—then went back and paid more than $700 for the procedure. That’s not counting gas money for eight hours of driving, or the wages she lost when she took time off from her hourly job for the appointment.
In March, she learned she was pregnant again, and found herself confronting many of the same barriers to getting an abortion: The clinic was still far away, the procedure was still costly, and she would still have to take off a day or two to account for the waiting period and the drives to and from the clinic.
What to Know About Giving Yourself an Abortion
Ending a pregnancy on your own means using pills—not coat hangers.
by Marie Solis
Feb 17 2020
Abortions happened before it was legal to get one, and, should it ever become illegal again, they will happen then too—many of them outside of clinics, without direct medical supervision.
But doing your own abortion in 2020 looks a lot different than it did pre- Roe v. Wade. People who self-induced abortions in the decades before the landmark Supreme Court ruling sometimes resorted to drinking toxic chemicals, throwing themselves down the stairs, or using crude instruments like knitting needles or a coat hanger, the latter of which has become a universal symbol of the life-threatening consequences of restricting people’s access to abortion care. The hanger may still function as a powerful image, but it’s no longer accurate when it comes to representing what it means to self-induce an abortion: Self-inducing or self-managing an abortion is now synonymous with taking pills, a safe and effective method of ending a pregnancy.
Women On Web Making Self-Managed Safe Abortion Accessible
By Nivedita Jayakumar
February 5, 2020
Legal abortion means that the law recognizes a woman as a person. It says that she belongs to herself. But in most countries, women’s ability to access safe and legal abortions is restricted. Even places where abortion is permitted by law, women often have severely limited access to safe abortion services because of the stigma attached to it, the lack of proper regulation, health services, or political will. There are seven legal grounds on which abortion is permitted—to save a woman’s life, to preserve a woman’s physical health, to preserve a woman’s mental health, rape or incest, foetal impairment, socio-economic factors and on request. According to a report by Women on Waves, approximately 25% of the world’s population lives in countries with ‘highly restrictive abortion laws’—that is, laws which either completely ban abortion, or allow it only to save the mother’s life. And, performing abortion on a woman’s request is allowed only in 30% of countries. To bridge the gap between the 30% and the rest of the world, the online service Women on Web makes safe abortion accessible to every women around the world.
Abortion advice should be as safe as abortion itself
By Tracey Allyson Wilkinson
January 31, 2020
It’s completely reasonable for people to disagree about the morality of abortion. It’s completely unreasonable — and unethical — for medical professionals and those masquerading as them to give potentially life-endangering misinformation about it.
Abortion by medication has been available in the United States since 2000, when it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The regimen consists of two pills taken 24 to 48 hours apart. The first pill, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone, which is required for pregnancy. The second pill, misoprostol, causes the uterus to empty. This two-pill approach is currently used in 39% of all abortions in the U.S., a proportion that has been increasing over time.
Reproductive choices can overcome sale of illegal abortion pills
December 29, 2019
It is disheartening to note that the sale of illegal abortion pills online is proliferating. Clearly, it reflects the increasing desperate attempts by women and girls in resolving their crisis when faced with unplanned pregnancies.
While the health ministry has been clamping down on such sales, we are concerned that it may be ineffective as these sales are conducted through various platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and WeChat that appear and disappear as fast as a flash.