Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground

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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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YouTube censors lifesaving abortion information

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YouTube censors lifesaving abortion information
January 15th, 2018

YouTube removed the video channels from Women on Waves and Women on Web. Both channels contained animations with lifesaving information about safe and effective ways to do an abortion with medicines. Some of the animations can also be seen the the documentary Vessel (see https://www.netflix.com/title/80027371)

By censoring information on safe abortion, YouTube may contribute to the morbidity and mortality of unsafe abortion in a manner inconsistent with human rights under international law. By removing the video channels, YouTube violates Article 19 of the Universal declaration of Human rights, the right to freedom of information as well as Article 10 of the European convention of human rights, the freedom of expression.

Both organisations filed a complaint with YouTube and will consider legal steps if Youtube does not put the information back online.
Continued: https://www.womenonwaves.org/en/page/7044/youtube-censors-lifesaving-abortion-information

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

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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/

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US: SIA In Our Communities: A Conversation

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SIA In Our Communities: A Conversation
Dec 7, 2017

SIA In Our Communities: A Conversation was a community-engaged research project involving people who work with populations likely to be targeted by law enforcement for ending pregnancies outside the formal healthcare system. Reproductive justice activists, community-based abortion providers, and other advocates who center potentially impacted communities in their work came together to explore the cultural origins of, growing need for, and legal risks associated with supported and self-induced abortion ("SIA") in non-clinical settings. This report captures the hopes, concerns, and recommendations for the RHRJ movement(s) from the critical perspectives of some of the communities that have the most to gain or to lose through advocacy efforts to decriminalize and normalize non-clinical abortion.

A CONVERSATION: SIA IN OUR COMMUNITIES: Read the Report

Continued at source: https://www.sialegalteam.org/sioc

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Ireland: Websites to reveal how many women buy abortion pills

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Websites to reveal how many women buy abortion pills

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
November 11 2017

The health service is working with websites that sell abortion pills to find out how many Irish women are illegally terminating pregnancies.

Women on Web, a website that sells the pills to countries where abortion is restricted, has agreed to share data with the HSE. The health service is also approaching other abortion pill providers with a request to share information.

It is understood that the data will reveal only the number of women buying the drugs and no personal details.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/websites-to-reveal-how-many-women-buy-abortion-pills-6p9zx09rc

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Government doctors are being trained to help women in India get safe and legal abortions

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Government doctors are being trained to help women in India get safe and legal abortions
The Comprehensive Abortion Care programme is training doctors in abortion laws, medical and surgical abortion procedures, and how to counsel women.

Nov 8, 2017
Jyotsna Singh

On a busy Monday morning in June, Dr Gopal Krishna was suddenly summoned to the emergency ward of Vani Vilas Women and Children Hospital in Bengaluru where he works. He had been called to attend to Beena Kumari (name changed), a 23-year-old woman who had been admitted with profuse vaginal bleeding.

Kumari had earlier taken medicines to induce an abortion – pills of misoprostol and mifepristone that are sold at pharmacies as Medical Termination of Pregnancy kits to terminate early pregnancies. Misoprostol and mifepristone fall under Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which means that they can only be sold against a prescription from a registered medical practitioner. But Kumari took the pills on the direction of the pharmacist.

Continued at source: https://scroll.in/pulse/857044/government-doctors-are-being-trained-to-help-women-in-india-get-safe-and-legal-abortions

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UK: A bitter pill

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A bitter pill
Health bodies are proposing a change to make abortions easier to get. Could this stop the trade in illegal abortion pills?

Josh Wilmer 6th November 2017

You need to be at home or somewhere comfortable. Know which hospital you’re going to if things go wrong, and be able to get there in less than an hour. It’s normal to carry on bleeding for days, even weeks.

That makes up some of the online advice for women who buy abortion pills online instead of having a termination on the NHS. Despite having access to free abortions, under medical supervision, many British women are paying money to buy pills online and going it alone.

Continued at source: https://theovertake.com/~alpha/abortion-pills/

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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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Australia: A Woman’s Abortion Conviction Is An Unexpected Wake-Up Call, Experts Say

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A Woman’s Abortion Conviction Is An Unexpected Wake-Up Call, Experts Say

by Sam Langford
16 August 2017

Legal experts say that a Sydney woman’s conviction for taking abortion drugs is almost unheard of in NSW, and that the surprising case highlights the urgent need for abortion law reform.

In a judgment handed down on July 5 in Blacktown Local Court, Magistrate Geoff Hiatt found a woman who self-administered drugs to abort her pregnancy guilty of a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years imprisonment but as it was dealt with summarily in a local court the convicted woman faces a maximum two year sentence.

Continued at source: Junkee: http://junkee.com/sydney-abortion-conviction-unexpected/118317

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