Prosecution of Unauthorized Abortion Pill Websites Begins
Ursula Wing sold abortion drugs to U.S. customers and is now charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown
The first wave of prosecutions of abortion pill sellers is upon us. A federal court last week arraigned pill purveyor Ursula Wing on charges of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Wing, who lives in New York, is accused of running a website that sold foreign-sourced pharmaceuticals to U.S. customers. The drugs Wing supposedly sold—mifepristone and misoprostol—can be taken in a two-step process to induce an abortion. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved this pill regimen for prescription use, under the brand name Mifeprex.
Abortion Pills Should Be Everywhere
I bought them online. They’re easy to get, and they’ll change everything.
By Farhad Manjoo, Opinion Columnist
Aug. 3, 2019
One afternoon about a year ago, just as the Senate began considering Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, I logged on to Day Night Healthcare, an online pharmacy based in India, and ordered a pack of abortion pills. A few hours later, I got a call from a Day Night customer-service agent with a warning. If my credit-card company called to ask about the purchase, “tell them you approve the charge, but don’t say what it’s for,” the man advised. “If they ask, say it’s gym equipment, or something like that.”
In fact, the bank never called, and in a week and a half, a small brown envelope — bearing a postmark not from India but from New Jersey — arrived in the mail.
An Update on Abortion Pills From the World Health Organization Undermines How the U.S. Regulates Them
The update may make mifepristone and misoprostol more readily available worldwide. But in the U.S., not much is expected to change.
Jul 15, 2019
Abortion pills should be widely available and affordable, and don't need to be dispensed by highly trained specialists or in specialty facilities, according to a World Health Organization update published last week.
Abortions induced by taking pills are the safest type available. The recommended regimen is two pills, containing the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. The pills work best on early stage pregnancies, around 10 weeks' gestation or less. The WHO has considered mifepristone and misoprostol "essential medicines" since 2005, but in the recent update, WHO experts decided that they had enough scientific evidence to strike the caveat saying the medications require "close medical supervision."
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.
Doctors and Major Reproductive Health Organizations Just Took a Decisive Stand in Support of Self-Managed Abortion
In the spring of 2018, the Austria-based organization Aid Access started providing the two drugs needed for a medication-induced abortion, mifepristone and misoprostol, by mail to people in the United States. Its founder, a Dutch physician named Rebecca Gomperts—whose other organizations Women on Web and Women on Waves have worked to make abortion pills available online and by sea for years—estimates that Aid Access has fulfilled requests from 600 U.S.-based women in the span of six months, despite having virtually no public rollout. But in March of this year, the Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Aid Access, along with an online pharmacy named Rablon, ordering both services to stop the sale of mifepristone and misoprostol—despite the fact that, when used as directed, the drugs are proven to be safe and effective. That hasn’t stopped Gomperts.
FDA Restrictions On Abortion Pills Need To Go, According To Dozens Of Doctors & Advocates
By Madhuri Sathish
July 1, 2019
Last year, a doctor who performs remote, online consultations for pregnant people seeking abortions in other countries launched a new service called Aid Access, to ship abortion pills to Americans. Several months later, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Aid Access to stop supplying abortion pills to Americans, prompting reproductive rights advocates to write an open letter arguing that FDA restrictions on abortion pills need to go.
The letter, which was published on July 1, was signed by 75 reproductive rights advocacy groups, legal experts, and health care providers, all of whom insisted that medication abortions have a strong record of being both safe and effective. The letter also urged the FDA to make decisions about medication abortion access based on science, rather than politics.
FEATURE - U.S. states unsure how to halt online sales of abortion pills amid clinic crackdown
Gabriella Borter, Reuters
June 27, 2019
NEW YORK — American women faced with new restrictions on abortions passed by a dozen U.S. states this year are turning to abortion pills from foreign online suppliers, and the states say there is little they can do to stop it.
In the year before many of these new restrictions passed Republican-controlled state legislatures, over 20,000 U.S. women sought the pills online from providers willing to defy U.S. federal rules over sale of the drugs that induce miscarriage.
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.
European doctor defies FDA orders to stop sending US women abortion pills by mail
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Thu May 23, 2019
(CNN)A European doctor who provides abortion pills by mail to the United States is defying an order from the US Food and Drug Administration to stop.
"It is very important to continue ... because it is the only safe abortion alternative for some of the most vulnerable people," Dr. Rebecca Gomperts said in an emailed statement. "As a physician, I have the obligation to provide medical care to people in need."