Health-Care Providers Must Consider What Role We’ll Play in Harm Reduction if Abortion Is Outlawed

Health-Care Providers Must Consider What Role We’ll Play in Harm Reduction if Abortion Is Outlawed

Sep 17, 2018
Dr. Daniel Grossman

Texas has seen some of the nation’s most regressive abortion restrictions in recent years. This series chronicles the fall-out of those laws, and the litigation that has followed.

As the prospect of losing the constitutional protection to abortion becomes more real, I am struck by how disconnected the political rhetoric is from medical reality. The facts are clear: Making abortion illegal does not make it go away. Yes, some patients will be prevented from getting a wanted abortion, but others will still end their pregnancies, either by traveling for safe and legal care or by taking matters into their own hands.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/09/17/health-care-providers-must-consider-what-role-well-play-in-harm-reduction-if-abortion-is-outlawed/

Read more

USA – How technology could preserve abortion rights

How technology could preserve abortion rights
Telemedicine prescriptions could undercut state abortion restrictions.

By MOHANA RAVINDRANATH and RENUKA RAYASAM
07/29/2018

Abortion rights advocates are exploring how technology might preserve or even expand women’s access to abortion if the Supreme Court scales back Roe v. Wade.

A nonprofit group is testing whether it's safe to let women take abortion pills in their own homes after taking screening tests and consulting with a doctor on their phones or computers. Because the study is part of an FDA clinical trial, the group isn’t bound by current rules requiring the drugs be administered in a doctor’s office or clinic.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/29/abortion-rights-technology-telemedicine-prescriptions-693328

Read more

What would the world be like without Roe v. Wade?

What would the world be like without Roe v. Wade?

Lisa Belkin, Chief National Correspondent
Yahoo News, Jul 26, 2018

Brandishing a wire coat hanger, New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon took the podium at a rally against the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court earlier this month. Kavanaugh is thought to satisfy Donald Trump’s pledge to appoint justices who will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Nixon’s voice shook as she predicted that a newly conservative court would take the country back to a time when women — including her own mother — resorted to self-administered abortions with, yes, coat hangers, or to illegal and unlicensed practitioners to end their pregnancies.

“We must never, ever, ever, go back to a time when any woman feels she has to make this kind of a choice,” she said, raising the hanger high. “And this is why we must fight.”

Continued: https://sports.yahoo.com/world-like-without-roe-v-wade-175227534.html

Read more

USA – Illegal Abortion Will Mean Abortion By Mail

Illegal Abortion Will Mean Abortion By Mail
What to expect when you’re expecting your abortifacient pill delivery

Olga Khazan
July 18, 2018

With the prospect of a more conservative Supreme Court on the horizon, some progressive women have begun to fear what will happen if Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion, is overturned. Some of these prophecies have centered on a popular meme in the pro-choice community: The coat hanger.

During a recent rally, New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon held up a wire coat hanger as a warning that we should not return to the previous generation’s means of obtaining illicit abortions. And Representative Lois Frankel, a Democrat from Florida, banged a coat hanger on the table at a briefing while discussing the latest Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/07/after-abortion-is-illegal/565430/

Read more

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/

Read more

Peru: New study on abortion pill shows high success, low rate of complications

New study on abortion pill shows high success, low rate of complications
by Ariana Eunjung Cha
January 11, 2018

Abortion is legally restricted in Peru, forcing women who want to end their pregnancies to seek other means. (Mariana Bazo/Reuters)

Ever since the abortion pill RU-486 began to hit the market in the 1980s, questions have lingered about its safety, especially for women who take it in countries where terminating an unwanted pregnancy is restricted and they cannot openly seek help from a medical professional if something goes wrong.

As reports of deaths and injuries grew in the early 2000s and the pill became a big political issue, studies were launched to try to get more data on the safety question. The results are starting to come out.

Continued at source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/01/11/new-study-on-abortion-pill-shows-high-success-low-rate-of-complications/

Read more

USA: It Always Comes Down to Abortion

It Always Comes Down to Abortion

Katie McDonough
Jan 5, 2017

In the final months of 2017, the Trump administration tried and failed to block three undocumented teenagers from getting abortions while in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. In each case, the young women sought access to the procedure only to be refused by the agency, which cited a policy issued in March barring “any action that facilitates” abortion for unaccompanied minors, including “scheduling appointments, transportation, or other arrangements,” unless approved by agency director Scott Lloyd.

That approval would likely never come, even in cases of rape, because, according to a letter from Lloyd, to allow minors in ORR custody to terminate their pregnancies would be the equivalent of “being asked to participate in killing a human being in our care.”

Continued at source: https://splinternews.com/it-always-comes-down-to-abortion-1821812298

Read more

U.S.: Abortion Via Telemedicine Is Totally Safe, Study Says

Abortion Via Telemedicine Is Totally Safe, Study Says
States are cracking down on telemedicine abortions, but research argues it's as safe as going to a doctor.

Sept 8, 2017
Catherine Pearson, Women & Parents Senior Reporter, HuffPost

A new study is challenging the premise of laws across the country prohibiting abortions administered through telemedicine.

Nineteen states require a clinician to be present when a woman takes medicine to end her pregnancy in order to keep her safe.

But the new, multi-year study has found that medication abortions are just as safe when they are done with a clinician overseeing them remotely as they are in the physical presence of a doctor.

Continued at source: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/abortion-via-telemedicine-is-totally-safe_us_59b2af99e4b0dfaafcf79bee

Read more

USA – Abortion ‘reversal’: the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women’s rights

USA – Abortion ‘reversal’: the latest sham from anti-choice activists trying to end women’s rights

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 18, 2017

For years, the US anti-abortion movement has promoted various falsehoods, e.g. that women regret their abortions. Now, some of them are claiming that an unproven treatment can counter the effect of mifepristone, the first pill used in the two-drug regimen of medical abortion, thereby giving women a “second chance” to keep their baby. Despite the hype, there is no evidence that flooding the body with progesterone – a hormone pregnant patients already have a lot of – increases the chance of continuing the pregnancy. In fact, in the extremely rare case that a patient changes their mind before taking the second pill, watchful waiting and inaction appears to be just as effective.

Use of medical abortion pills has steadily risen in the US, now representing almost half of all abortions. Medical abortion has the potential to radically transform the way patients access and experience abortion by moving it out of a clinic and more directly into the hands of the user. It also challenges the anti-abortion movement’s long-standing strategy of demonizing clinicians who do surgical abortions and the instruments they use.

In an independent clinic in North Carolina, a woman who counsels 20-40 patients a week on medical abortion, said that over the past five years since she has been working at the clinic, she has seen only one patient express remorse immediately after swallowing the mifepristone pill. She and the clinic staff helped the young woman to vomit the medication and counselled her on what to do if she began to abort. They did hear from the woman again: one week later when she came back to the clinic for a surgical abortion.

This article  was written in response to an article in the New York Times about so-called abortion pill reversal. The NY Times article is a long, detailed history of the changes in anti-abortion tactics in the USA over a long period of time, opening with the story of a very religious woman who got pregnant with someone who was not the partner she wanted, sought an abortion though it was against her beliefs, and after taking mifepristone, decided it was a mistake. Through a web search she came across an anti-abortion group who oppose the use of medical abortion pills and claimed the effect can be cancelled out by taking progesterone. This claim is based on the experience of only four women whose pregnancies might well have continued anyway. But that has not stopped several anti-abortion state legislatures in the US from passing laws requiring that women be told that “reversal” is possible.

Women who take the mifepristone pill, regret the decision and seek “reversal” are in fact very few and far between. But the anti-abortion view, as explained by Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, is that peddling “reversal” is worth it “even if the laws are eventually struck down or the protocol turns out to be ineffective. Just raising the question of uncertainty and regret affects the abortion pill’s reputation. You’re changing… what people think about this kind of abortion. You can do that regardless of what the research ultimately shows.’’

In other words, if you tell people the same lie often enough, they may believe you.

SOURCES: The Guardian, by Renee Bracey Sherman, Daniel Grossman, 2 August 2017 ; New York Times, by Ruth Graham, 18 July 2017 ; VISUAL

----------------------------

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/usa-abortion-reversal-the-latest-sham-from-anti-choice/

Read more

India – Sexual abuse of girls followed by refusal of abortion: adding insult to injury

India – Sexual abuse of girls followed by refusal of abortion: adding insult to injury
Aug 4, 2017
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

On 28 July, the case of a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after being sexual abused by her uncle hit the news in India. According to reports, the family approached the district court in Chandigarh for permission for the child to have an abortion in the first part of July. It took until 15 July for the judge to order a medical board to examine the girl and submit a report on the feasibility of an abortion. Yet the feasibility of an abortion should never have been in question.

To make matters worse, the response of the medical board was clinically inaccurate and in some remarks seemed to be anti-abortion. They made doing an abortion appear to be more dangerous than if the child carried the pregnancy to term. And it led the judge, who seemed not to know better, to refuse the abortion.

Continued at source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/india-sexual-abuse-of-girls-followed-by-refusal-of-abortion/

Read more