USA – What Back Alley? These Women Say DIY Abortion Can Be Empowering

What Back Alley? These Women Say DIY Abortion Can Be Empowering
The pro-choice movement has portrayed non-clinic abortion as a last resort. But some women are trying to change that image.

Emily Shugerman
01.04.19

The image provokes both fear and fury: a wire coat hanger, spattered with blood, symbolizing the drastic measures women may take when abortion access is limited.

Whoopi Goldberg brandished one on stage at the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, urging the younger generation to remember what their forebears used. Protesters at the 1989 March for Women's Equality carried a giant replica, stained red, through the streets of Washington D.C. like a macabre parade float. And the symbol has been ubiquitous since Donald Trump’s election, popping up at marches, in the pages of glossy magazines, and on this site.

The imagery makes Jill Adams, founder of the Self-Induced Abortion Legal Team, shake her head.

Continued: https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-back-alley-these-women-say-diy-abortion-can-be-empowering?ref=scroll

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Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground

Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground
Code names, top-secret training, and a movement of women determined to avoid the medical establishment.

Nina Liss-Schultz
Mother Jones, March/April 2018 Issue

On a summer day in 2015, Renata and more than a dozen women, all strangers from different parts of the country, sat in a semicircle on the living-room floor of a house, deep in the rural South. A lean twentysomething with a wide smile and olive skin, Renata was the only nonwhite person in the group. And she felt conspicuous in other ways too—many of the women struck her as kind of “new agey,” and some had been involved in a “crystal energetics” midwifery program. All of them had big red binders full of worksheets and documents related to the topic at hand: how to help women self-induce an abortion. “My initial thought,” she recalls, “is, ‘What the fuck did I get myself into?'”

Renata had come from Arizona to attend the weeklong training. She learned how, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, white male doctors consolidated their professional power in part by sidelining female and often nonwhite midwives and other community healers. She learned which drugs and herbs induce a miscarriage and where to buy the small, plastic, strawlike instrument that is inserted into the uterus and suctions out an unwanted pregnancy. If problems arise, what should one say to avoid scrutiny at the emergency room? In which states is self-induced abortion, and helping women self-induce, a crime?

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2018/02/inside-the-top-secret-abortion-underground/

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The secret home abortion movement that started in LA two years before Roe v. Wade

The secret home abortion movement that started in LA two years before Roe v. Wade

by Christopher Greenspon | Off-Ramp®
April 14, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story may be disturbing for some people. It includes frank discussion of abortion and somewhat graphic clinical descriptions of abortion procedures.

Norma McCorvey — better known as the "Roe" of Roe v. Wade, which established a woman's right to an abortion in the U.S. — died in February at the age of 69. She was credited with taking abortion out of the back alley, although she switched sides in the last part of her life.

But two years prior to the 1973 Supreme Court decision, a woman from Eagle Rock had made it her mission to take abortion from the back alley to the living room. Her name is Carol Downer and she helped create an underground network of unlicensed women who performed home abortions. She wrote books on female anatomy, went to jail, and ran a women’s health and abortion clinic in Hollywood which burned down in 1985.

Continued at source: Southern California Public Radio: http://www.scpr.org/programs/offramp/2017/04/14/56179/the-secret-home-abortion-movement-started-in-la-tw/

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