A boom in at-home abortions is coming
Advocates say “self-managed abortions” are safe — and in the current political environment, interest is rising.
By Anna North
Jul 9, 2019
After Marie decided to take medication to end her pregnancy, it took several days for the pills to work.
When the uterine contractions started, Marie recalled, she experienced “a lot of bleeding, a lot of pain, a lot of cramps. Just like a bad cycle.” (Marie asked that her last name not be used because of legal concerns.)
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.
Not Your Grandmother’s Illegal Abortion
By Jennifer Block
July 1, 2019
The sola variety of papaya resembles a pregnant uterus, so much so that around the world, humans use the fruit to learn one method of modern reproductive health care: manual vacuum aspiration, or MVA, a low-risk, low-tech method of first-trimester abortion that requires little or no anesthesia. As one doctor remarked at a conference in 1973, where the technology was introduced to physicians from around the world, “it’s something we will be able to bring practically into the rice paddy.”
This, too, is the fruit I have been given to practice on. I’ve placed it on a table across from me, and I’m focused on the neck, where its stem grew, which evokes the cervical os. The tool I’m using is a large plastic syringe with a bendable plastic strawlike thing, called a cannula, where the needle would be. At the top of the syringe is a bivalve to create one-way suction.
This Self-Managed Abortion Helpline Will Answer All Your Legal Questions About The Procedure
By Madhuri Sathish
Oct 30, 2018
As abortion access in the U.S. has become increasingly restricted, more Americans have turned to self-managed abortions, such as those induced by abortion pills. In order to help people concerned about navigating the legality of terminating their pregnancies themselves, a team of lawyers launched an abortion helpline on Tuesday that aims to serve as a free and confidential resource.
The SIA Legal Team, which works to give people increased self-determination in their reproductive lives, is behind the helpline (844-868-2812) and website. Jill Adams, the group's founder and strategy director, tells Bustle the helpline is designed for "anyone who has ended their own pregnancy and been questioned by the authorities or fears they might be questioned by the authorities in relation to their abortion."
Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground
Code names, top-secret training, and a movement of women determined to avoid the medical establishment.
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?