D.I.Y. – Self-Managed Abortion
Conscience Magazine, 2019 issue 2, Abortion
By Susan Yanow, Joanna Erdman and Kinga Jelinska
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The advent of abortion pills as a health technology has deep personal and political consequences for how, when and where abortions happen. The “discovery” of abortion pills occurred in the 1980s in Brazil, when women noticed that the label for misoprostol, a drug registered to treat gastric ulcers, cautioned against its use by pregnant women because the drug caused uterine cramping. Use of misoprostol alone to end unwanted pregnancy spread quickly in Brazil and across Latin America outside the formal health system, as abortion is criminalized in most of the region. 1
The use of pills for abortion entered formal healthcare systems when the French pharmaceutical company Roussel-Uclaf developed mifepristone for use with a prostaglandin like misoprostol to end a pregnancy (with higher effectiveness than misoprostol alone, although the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes both misoprostol alone and the combination mifepristone/misoprostol as highly safe and effective).2
Almost 40 Percent of Abortions Are Now Done With Pills
Experts say the number would be even higher if the FDA loosened its restrictions on medication abortion.
by Marie Solis
Sep 19 2019
While the overall abortion rate in the U.S. has hit a record low since the procedure was legalized in 1973 under Roe v. Wade, the rate of people choosing medication abortion to end pregnancies is on the rise, according to new findings from Guttmacher Institute.
Medication abortion is a method of abortion that involves taking the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to induce what is effectively a miscarriage. The method became available in the United States in 2000, when the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, and has dramatically increased in use since: Whereas in 2004, medication abortions made up just 14 percent of all abortions in the U.S., by 2015 that number rose to almost 25 percent. Now Guttmacher reports that the share of medication abortions in 2017 was 39 percent of the total, or almost two in five.
With Abortion Restrictions On The Rise, Some Women Induce Their Own
September 19, 2019
When Arlen found out she was pregnant this year, she was still finishing college and knew she didn't want a child.
There's a clinic near her home, but Arlen faced other obstacles to getting an abortion.
"I started researching about prices, and I was like, 'Well, I don't have $500,' " said Arlen, who is in her 20s and lives in El Paso, Texas. We're not using her full name to protect her privacy.
Study: 8% of Texas Women Self-Induced Their Abortions
Thursday September 05, 2019
As many as 8% of Texas women may have self-managed their abortions, according to a new study published in BMC Women’s Health. The study suggests that women may already be pursuing less safe abortions in the wake of increasing abortion restrictions.
Texas Women Are Inducing Their Own Abortions
The authors of the study hypothesized that women might not report self-induced abortions, and that official data on the topic might underestimate the numbers. So they administered surveys to 790 Texas women of reproductive age in 2015. The surveys asked about various health experiences. Self-managed abortion was included in half of the surveys.
Activist Rebecca Gomperts Is Reshaping Last-Ditch Abortion Care
by Greta Moran
Published on July 9, 2019
Abortions are as inevitable as the sun rising. Every year, around 56 million people around the world induce their own abortions, but this doesn’t need to come in the form of a “back-alley” abortion. Dutch activist and doctor Rebecca Gomperts has made it her life’s work to ensure the abortion pill is accessible—even in places where it is outlawed. She describes her work as a form of harm reduction: using medication to induce abortion is the safest alternative to fully legal abortion. So making this method available (and raising awareness of it) mitigates the consequences of harsh laws that criminalize or limit access to abortion. Gompert’s work reduces the potential of self-induced abortion causing harm or a person having to unwillingly carry a pregnancy to term.
Some US women are taking reproductive matters into their own hands: They're ordering abortion pills by mail
June 25, 2019
In Aid Access' first year of operation, 21,000 U.S. women reached out to the online organization launched in March 2018 that offers abortion pills internationally. Requests came from all over the country – especially states where abortion is tightly restricted.
After a string of states passed bans or limits in recent weeks, pushing the abortion debate in the USA to a fever pitch, abortion rights advocates said those numbers could climb.
A European doctor prescribes abortion pills to U.S. women over the internet — but the FDA is watching
Aid Access, an organization started by a Dutch doctor to offer abortion pills to women in the U.S., is defying an FDA warning by continuing to operate.
June 1, 2019
By Katie Engelhart
Necolie remembers taking the pregnancy test in the bathroom and then throwing it at her husband. “I’m not doing this again,” she said.
By then, in late 2018, her husband had been out of work for three months. Necolie, who lives on the Florida Coast and asked that her full name not be used to protect her privacy, was borrowing gas money from friends so she could drive her three kids to school. During her last pregnancy, she had developed a serious liver condition and had to be hospitalized.
REVEALED: Ghana Tops World Abortion Pill Searches
By Andy Ashong
May 29, 2019
According to a global report, Ghana together with Nigeria topped online global search for abortion pill Misoprostol the last decade.
Per a report derived from Google data, Ghanaians and Nigerians are the world’s leading abortion pill searchers.
These reports also suggest that in countries where abortion laws are more restrictive, there is greater search interest in abortion pills. By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion.
The Complicated Reality of Buying Abortion Pills Online
An abortion provider delves into the safety, efficacy, and legality.
April 8, 2019
By Jennifer Conti, M.D., M.S.
Given the many obstacles facing reproductive rights in our current political climate, we as physicians are seeing some people take abortion into their own hands. No, I’m not talking about coat-hanger abortions or any of the other infamous and tragic methods that people in the past (and, sadly, even some in the present) have explored.
Specifically, I’m talking about those who are self-managing medication abortions, meaning that they’re getting and taking abortion medications without going through a health-care provider at all.
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.
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.