Self-Managed Abortion May Be On The Rise, But Probably Not A Significant Driver Of The Overall Decline In Abortion
Rachel K. Jones,Guttmacher Institute
Megan K. Donovan,Guttmacher Institute
First published on Health Affairs Blog: November 7, 2019
The U.S. abortion landscape is changing rapidly. Large swaths of the country are enacting ever more extreme abortion restrictions, while a number of states are racing to protect or even expand access. In 2020, the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court will consider its first major abortion rights case since Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were confirmed, and additional cases are at the Court’s doorstep. And all the while, the U.S. abortion rate continues to decline: According to a September report from the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate has reached a record low, with concurrent declines in birthrates suggesting that fewer people are becoming pregnant in the first place.
More People Are Starting to Prefer Managing Their Abortions on Their Own
And it's not just because of restrictive state laws.
by Marie Solis
Oct 17 2019
People are turning to at-home abortion as state lawmakers attack reproductive rights and restrict clinic access across the United States, according to new research published in the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday.
The findings are the result of a 10-month study of Women on Web, a website that prescribes and sells abortion pills abroad — not in the United States. But despite that caveat, the Netherlands-based doctor who runs the site, Rebecca Gomperts, says she has received requests from American women since she began operations in 2006.
Anti-Choice Activists Fighting a Losing Battle Against Medication Abortion
Medication abortion is a gamechanger for pregnant people, particularly when other forms of abortion are difficult to access or even unavailable.
Oct 1, 2019
Carole Joffe & David S. Cohen
With the recent news that almost 40 percent of the abortions in this country in 2017 were by pill rather than surgical procedure, now is a great time to appreciate the seemingly unstoppable revolution this medical advance has brought about.
Abortion providers all over the country have witnessed this revolution firsthand. As the director of a network of clinics in a large Western state told us, “We’re doing medication abortions with nurse practitioners all over the state, and it’s particularly important in the mountains.” She explained that before medication abortion, in a particularly remote area, “if the doc was there on Tuesday and you came in on Wednesday, you had to wait another week or two.” This pushed some patients too late in pregnancy to have an abortion. But now, patients in the region “can come in on the day the nurse practitioner is there, which is almost every day, and be taken care of.”
Medication Abortion and the Changing Abortion Landscape
by Megan K. Donovan
Sept 26, 2019
Medication abortion is a safe and effective method of abortion that can be completed outside of a medical setting—for example, in the comfort and privacy of one’s home. Now, new data from the Guttmacher Institute reveal that even as overall abortion numbers continue to decline, the use of medication abortion in the United States continues to grow. In 2017, the number of early medication abortions provided in clinical settings rose to approximately 340,000, an overall increase of 25% from 2014.
Medication abortion has been transforming the provision of care since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, and the latest data confirm that it continues to represent an increasingly significant proportion of all U.S. abortions, accounting for 39% in 2017. In fact, it is now the most common method used for abortions up to 10 weeks’ gestation, accounting for 60% of all such abortions in 2017.
What Happens When We Ban Abortion?
If the United States succeeds at revoking women’s rights to abortion, the social climate will be reminiscent of another country that made this attempt in the 1960s: Romania.
Sep 25, 2019
The battle over women’s reproductive rights in the United States is not new. Since the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, the lines have been drawn between pro-choice and pro-life advocates. These positions have been entrenched in US politics for decades, but have taken a sharp turn under the current Trump administration. Though data show that restricting abortion access hurts women in the workforce, the president has vigorously pursued regressive policies, contrary to his stated intentions to support economic growth for women.
In fact, these antiquated decisions will not only jeopardize the prosperity of women but also their health and safety, especially for low-income women and women of color. If the United States succeeds at revoking women’s right to abortion, the social climate will be reminiscent of another country that made this attempt in the 1960s: Romania.
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.
In First, California Would Require Public Universities to Provide Abortion Pills
The bill, if signed by the governor, would mark a new way of giving women access to abortion as conservative states tighten restrictions.
By Pam Belluck
Sept. 14, 2019
At a time when conservative states are sharply limiting abortion access, California signaled a new frontier in abortion-rights on Friday with the passage of legislation that would require all public universities in the state to provide medication abortion on campus.
The bill, which would use money raised from private donors to equip and train campus health centers, grew out of a student-led movement at the University of California, Berkeley, and it has sparked the introduction of a similar bill in Massachusetts.
European Doctor Who Prescribes Abortion Pills to U.S. Women Online Sues FDA
September 9, 2019
A European doctor who prescribes abortion pills to American women over the Internet is suing the Food and Drug Administration in an effort to continue providing the medications to patients in the United States.
The lawsuit being filed Monday in federal court in Idaho names several federal officials, including U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Abortion Bans Based on So-Called “Science” Are Fraudulent
Our silence in the face of new anti-choice laws across the U.S. is deafening
By Nicole M. Baran, Gretchen Goldman, Jane Zelikova
on August 21, 2019
We are scientists, and we believe that evidence, not ideology, should inform health care decisions. The wave of anti-abortion laws across the U.S. is the latest in a long string of attempts to falsely use the language and authority of science to justify denying people their basic human rights and inflict lasting harm. Although abortion is still legal in every state, recent legislation in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio threatens the future of abortion rights in the country. Scientists should, first and foremost, value evidence, and the evidence is clear: abortion bans cause harm. They make abortions less safe and especially harm historically marginalized communities.
Restrictions On Abortion Medication Deserve A Second Look, Says A Former FDA Head
August 20, 2019
Mifepristone is one of a regimen of two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to end an early pregnancy. It's also prescribed to help reduce the severity of miscarriage symptoms. But it is heavily regulated in ways that can make it hard for women to obtain. Along with its approval in 2000, the FDA restricted its use because of safety concerns.
In a perspective article published this summer in the New England Journal of Medicine, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Jane Henney and co-author Dr. Helene Gayle argue that the agency should reevaluate whether such measures are still necessary and take into consideration recent studies that show mifepristone is both effective and safe.