USA: Why Aren’t ‘Abortion Pills’ Available in Pharmacies?

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Why Aren’t ‘Abortion Pills’ Available in Pharmacies?
Written by Heather Cruickshank on October 19, 2017

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against federal restrictions that limit access to the drug mifepristone to doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics.

Are federal rules that limit access to “medical abortion” justified?

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the answer is no.

Earlier this month, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), challenging regulations that restrict access to the drug mifepristone.

Continued at source: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/abortion-pill-restrictions#2

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USA: Exploring the Feasibility of Obtaining Mifepristone and Misoprostol from the Internet

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ABSTRACT

Objectives.
We aimed to document the experience of buying abortion pills from online vendors that do not require a prescription and to evaluate the active ingredient content of the pills received. Study Design. We searched the internet to identify a convenience sample of websites that sold mifepristone and misoprostol to purchasers in the United States and attempted to order these products. We documented price, shipping time and other aspects of ordering. We sent the samples received to a testing laboratory that measured the amount of active ingredient in individual tablets.

Results. We identified 20 websites and ordered 22 products: 20 mifepristone-misoprostol combination products and two that contained only misoprostol. We received 18 combination products and the two misoprostol products from 16 different sites. No site required a prescription or any relevant medical information. The time between order and receipt of the 20 products ranged from 3-21 business days (median 9.5 days). The price for the 18 combination products ranged from $110 to $360, including shipping and fees; the products without mifepristone cost less. Chemical assays found that the 18 tablets labeled 200 mg mifepristone contained between 184.3 mg and 204.1 mg mifepristone, while the 20 tablets labeled 200 mcg misoprostol contained between 34.1 mcg and 201.4 mcg of the active ingredient.

Conclusions. Obtaining abortion medications from online pharmaceutical websites is feasible in the US. The mifepristone tablets received contained within 8% of the labeled amount of active agent. The misoprostol tablets all contained that compound but usually less than labeled.

IMPLICATIONS STATEMENT
Given our findings, we expect that some people for whom clinic-based abortion is not easily available or acceptable may consider self-sourcing pills from the internet to be a rational option.

Continued at source: http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/pb/assets/raw/Health%20Advance/journals/contra/CON_8985.pdf

See also this Commentary: http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/pb/assets/raw/Health%20Advance/journals/contra/CON_8984.pdf

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Women seeking abortions in UK outside formal healthcare system due to ‘insurmountable’ barriers, finds research

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Women seeking abortions in UK outside formal healthcare system due to 'insurmountable' barriers, finds research

Nearly one in five women cite controlling circumstances, including partner violence and partner or family control, as reason for not accessing formal abortion services

May Bulman
Sep 20, 2017

Women in the UK are seeking abortion services outside the formal healthcare system due to access barriers, privacy concerns and controlling circumstances, research has found.

New findings indicate that despite it being legally available in Britain, some women find it challenging or at times “impossible” to access abortion care through current service models.

Continued at source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/women-abortions-uk-nhs-outside-formal-healthcare-barriers-immigration-right-free-treatment-a7957141.html

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Despite legal abortion in Great Britain, women cite access barriers, new research finds

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Despite legal abortion in Great Britain, women cite access barriers, new research finds

University of Texas at Austin

Sept. 20, 2017, AUSTIN, Texas

Some women are seeking abortion services outside the formal health care system in Great Britain, where abortion is legally available, citing reasons such as access barriers, privacy concerns and controlling circumstances, according to new research from Abigail Aiken, an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. The peer-reviewed study was published Wednesday in Contraception, an international reproductive health journal.

Continued at source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/uota-dla091917.php

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Sri Lanka nabs Indian for smuggling abortion pills worth Rs 2.3 million

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Sri Lanka nabs Indian for smuggling abortion pills worth Rs 2.3 million
Aug 30, 2017

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities have arrested an Indian man for allegedly smuggling highly potent abortion pills worth Rs 2.3 million, according to a media report today.

The Indian, who arrived from New Delhi on a SriLankan Airlines flight yesterday, had tried to leave without declaring the huge quantity of the pills, the Colombo Page reported.

Upon inspection, Lanka Customs officers found the illegal medicine stock in his luggage.

The suspect, who was not identified, had visited Sri Lanka on several occasions earlier. He has been buying the medicine from India for a low price and selling it in the country for a large amount of money, the report said.

Source: Times of India: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sri-lanka-nabs-indian-for-smuggling-abortion-pills-worth-rs-2-3-million/articleshow/60292975.cms

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WOMEN HELP WOMEN – Supporting Independent Use of Abortion Medicines: fighting stigma one email at a time

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WOMEN HELP WOMEN – Supporting Independent Use of Abortion Medicines: fighting stigma one email at a time

August 15, 2017
by Women Help Women

Although self-management of medical abortion presents enormous potential for the empowerment of women, the experience of individual women in countries where abortion is legally restricted often remains deeply stigmatized, despite the availability of safe abortion pills. It builds on other forms of discrimination and structural injustices. Ultimately, abortion stigma serves to marginalize an essential medical process, discredit those who would provide or procure it, and undermine those who advocate for its legality and accessibility.

A woman who manages her own abortion is committing a political act by refusing to submit to various oppressive systems, whether intending to or not. By taking control into her own hands, she is rejecting systems of law, local medical practice, societal norms, religious norms and sometimes deeply held personal beliefs.

False messages intended to frighten women off

> The pills are misused by women and cannot be self-managed.

> No woman should ever do this by herself because she will likely die or become infertile.

> This process should never be made so easy.

WHW works steadily to empower, destigmatize and provide support in each and every message and action. Any intervention on behalf of independent use in restrictive settings must engage fully in conversation. Each person deserves to feel heard, understood and respected. Stigma can feel overwhelming but can be addressed brick-by-brick in small but meaningful written exchanges. We emphasize that abortion is a common experience, and they are not alone. We offer reliable information on medical, legal and logistical aspects of accessing and safely taking abortion medicines, sharing research data, and the experiences of others. We talk about how safe self-management of abortion medicines is, but we encourage women to be close to the hospital if additional care is needed. After desperation, fear, shame and secrecy, women express relief and astonishment after the abortion is over, because they experienced no complications, and they feel healthy both physically and emotionally.

FULL TEXT:  English  / Español

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Continued at source: International Campaign for women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/women-help-women-supporting-independent-use-of-abortion-medicines/

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Canada: Universal access needed for abortion pill, advocates urge

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Universal access needed for abortion pill, advocates urge

Laura Payton, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer
Published Friday, July 21, 2017

OTTAWA -- An organization that advocates for women's sexual health rights has given the provincial premiers a November deadline to provide universal access to Mifegymiso, a drug used to end a pregnancy.

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is challenging the provinces to offer the medication free of charge to those who want it. New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta have already started offering it in place of surgical abortions.

Continued at source: CTV News: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/universal-access-needed-for-abortion-pill-advocates-urge-1.3512176

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Irish Abortion Rates Are Down And It Could Be Because More Women Are Buying Illegal Pills Online

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Irish Abortion Rates Are Down And It Could Be Because More Women Are Buying Illegal Pills Online

Difficulty accessing abortion and an increased awareness of online abortion pills could account for the decline in official abortion rates.
Posted on June 13, 2017
Laura Silver
BuzzFeed News Reporter

The number of recorded women who have travelled to abortion clinics in England and Wales from Ireland, where the procedure is illegal, decreased last year.

However, there is concern among campaigners that the decline is due to the number of women who self-administer abortion pills at home to illegally end a pregnancy, as well as women from Ireland travelling to England for an abortion and not giving their home address when they are admitted to a clinic.

Continued at link: Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/laurasilver/irish-abortion-rates-are-down-and-it-could-be-because-women

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U.S.: Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions

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Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
By Katie Klabusich, Truthout | News Analysis

In just the first three months of this year, 431 abortion restrictions were introduced at the state level. Plus, 2017 has seen the confirmation of anti-choice Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule (an international policy that prohibits nongovernmental organizations across the globe that receive US family planning funds from advocating for or even discussing abortion). Add in the 338 state-level restrictions passed between 2010-2016, and it is increasingly clear that abortion access -- at least in the short term -- is slipping away in this country.

Continued: Truthout: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40814-ending-the-stigma-and-prosecution-of-self-administered-abortions

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Mumbai: No prescription required, abortion pills at doorstep

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Mumbai: No prescription required, abortion pills at doorstep
By Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai | Posted 02-Jun-2017

With this line, online agencies hawk pregnancy termination pills, often to women unaware of the danger of using medication without expert help. mid-day puts itself out there as a desperate customer

An unplanned pregnancy can be terrifying, particularly for single, underage girls afraid of the backlash from their parents and society. This is the fear that online stores are exploiting, by offering abortion pills without prescriptions.

Continued at source: Mid-Day: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/mumbai-news-abortion-pills-no-prescription-pregnancy-termination-pills-online-agencies/18299199

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