The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Forcing Abortion Providers to Make Impossible Decisions
Mar 24, 2020
The Choices Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, a small clinic in Tennessee, had two doctors providing abortion care until a few days ago. The center, which draws patients from all over the region, sees anywhere between 20 and 40 patients a week, according to its assistant director Katy Leopard: They come from Mississippi, where there is only one clinic providing this kind of care, and from Arkansas, where abortions can be hard to come by, and sometimes from even as far as Kentucky.
In the United States, an estimated 11.3 million women live more than an hour’s drive from an abortion provider, and often doctors will split their time between clinics to provide more geographically comprehensive care. Last year, the Los Angeles Times shadowed a provider who performed 50 abortions in 60 hours when she “commuted” from California to Texas, a feat that now given a roiling pandemic and orders from state governments to “just stay home” seems difficult, if not impossible, to imagine. But clinic workers and reproductive health advocates are trying to manage, considering that even in moments of global crisis, unwanted pregnancies don’t stop.
The FDA Could Improve Abortion Access Under Coronavirus But It Won't
Abortion pills have to be picked up in person at a clinic. Advocates say that has to change during the pandemic.
by Christine Grimaldi
Mar 19 2020
When Donald Trump used “two very big words” to declare a national emergency over the novel coronavirus on Friday, he bragged about giving his top health official the “ability to waive laws to enable telehealth” during the pandemic. But it appears that the president’s latitude will not apply to medication abortion care, a federal agency confirmed to VICE.
People who want to end their pregnancies will have to navigate the same restrictions as always, which will become all the more complicated in a pandemic environment.
Even if Roe is upheld, abortion opponents are winning
A drip, drip, drip of state restrictions has made abortion harder to obtain.
By RACHANA PRADHAN, RENUKA RAYASAM and MOHANA RAVINDRANATH
Abortion is still legal in the United States, but for women in vast swaths of the country it’s a right in name only.
Six states are down to only one abortion clinic; a court stepped in Friday to stop Missouri’s sole clinic from closing, at least for now. Some women seeking abortions have to travel long distances, and face mandatory waiting periods or examinations. On top of that, a new wave of restrictive laws, or outright bans, is rippling across GOP-led states like Alabama and Georgia.
Abortion pills now available by mail in US -- but FDA is investigating
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Tue October 23, 2018
(CNN)Signaling a new chapter in the battle over abortion access in the United States, a European organization has stepped into the fray, providing Americans a way to get doctor-prescribed pills by mail to medically induce abortions at home.
Called Aid Access, the organization says it uses telemedicine, including online consultations, to facilitate services for healthy women who are less than nine weeks pregnant. If a woman completes the consultation and is deemed eligible for a medical abortion, the organization's founder writes a prescription for the two pills used to terminate the pregnancy, misoprostol and mifepristone. Prescriptions are then sent to a pharmacy in India, which fills and mails orders to the US.
A roadmap for research on self-managed abortion in the United States
(Posted August 29 2018)
Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), Gynuity Health Projects, and Ibis Reproductive Health. A roadmap for research on self-managed abortion in the United States. August 2018.
Media coverage and research data show a growing awareness of the option to self-manage (or self-induce or self-source) abortion outside of the formal health care system; we are learning more about people’s experiences with self-managed abortion, and how often people choose this option in the United States. Recent evidence indicates between one and seven percent of abortion patients (see below) have taken or done something to try to end their current pregnancy. In addition, in 2015, there were more than 700,000 Google searches using terms related to self-induced abortion in the United States. The reasons women attempt to self-manage an abortion are varied, but they are often related to barriers accessing clinic-based care, as well as a preference for self-care.
Telemedicine Could Help Fill the Gaps in America's Abortion Care
Author: Garnet Henderson
Aug 7, 2018
Imagine a woman in Lubbock, Texas, who just found out that she's pregnant. She wants an abortion, but Lubbock is one of 27 abortion deserts in the US: The nearest clinic is 308 miles away in Fort Worth, forcing her to take time off from work, pay for travel, and likely arrange childcare to get there. She’s less than 10 weeks along, so she’s a candidate for medication abortion—which could, theoretically, be completed in the privacy of her home. But Texas requires that the FDA protocol for medication abortion be followed to the letter. She’ll have to return to the clinic within one to two weeks for a follow-up visit, despite evidence that an in-person follow-up is unnecessary.
What if, instead, she could video chat with a doctor, pick up a prescription from her regular pharmacy, and manage her own abortion with on-call medical support—a telemedicine abortion?
How technology could preserve abortion rights
Telemedicine prescriptions could undercut state abortion restrictions.
By MOHANA RAVINDRANATH and RENUKA RAYASAM
Abortion rights advocates are exploring how technology might preserve or even expand women’s access to abortion if the Supreme Court scales back Roe v. Wade.
A nonprofit group is testing whether it's safe to let women take abortion pills in their own homes after taking screening tests and consulting with a doctor on their phones or computers. Because the study is part of an FDA clinical trial, the group isn’t bound by current rules requiring the drugs be administered in a doctor’s office or clinic.
Self-Induced Abortions Shouldn't Be A Crime, Mass. Medical Society Says
May 07, 2018
Chelsea Conaboy and Carey Goldberg
At its latest meeting, the Massachusetts Medical Society took a new stand: Women who attempt to end a pregnancy on their own should not be considered criminals.
Self-induced abortion is explicitly banned in seven states, and more have laws on the books that could be used to prosecute women for self-induction, according to a recent report.
Revised and expanded guidance on misoprostol-only recommended regimens
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
July 14, 2017
The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) has updated its guidance on misoprostol-only regimens for several obstetric and gynaecologic indications. The “FIGO Misoprostol-only Recommended Regimens 2017” chart – published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, accompanied by a commentary – is the result of extensive collaboration between an international expert group, including Gynuity Health Projects. The chart, divided by stages of pregnancy, provides recommendations for dosages and routes of administration for misoprostol use in obstetrics and gynaecology, including: medically induced abortion, medical management of miscarriage, cervical preparation for surgical abortion, fetal death, induction of labour, and management of post-partum haemorrhage (PPH).
Gynuity welcomes the guidance and hopes the chart will be widely disseminated and used by a full range of providers. We support the development and implementation of evidence-based policy and programs to broaden access and availability of misoprostol for each of its women’s health indications.
Article+ chart in PDF format are at: International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
The chart is also available in French, Spanish and Portuguese.
SOURCE: Gynuity Health Projects News, 23 June 2017 ; INFOGRAPHIC
Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
INVIMA approves mifepristone for abortion in Colombia
by Safe Abortion
March 31, 2017
On 3 March 2017, it was announced that Colombia’s Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos (National Food and Drug Surveillance Institute, INVIMA) had approved the registration of mifepristone in Colombia for use in combination with misoprostol for induced abortion.
According to the Gynuity Health Projects website, mifepristone has been available (up to June 2016) only in Guyana and Uruguay in South America.
Profamilia, Colombia’s national family planning organisation, hope to begin providing the combination method in the second quarter of this year according to Marta Royo, Profamilia’s Executive Director.
Royo reports that in March 2012 Profamilia started all the procedures required in order to introduce mifepristone in Colombia: “It took five years and tons of paperwork, meetings and lobbying, she said, but we made it!!!! We are thrilled at INVIMA´s granting of approval but to be honest, also a little bit scared…. I won’t truly believed it until I see Mifepristona in Profamilia´s clinics and of course other clinics as well.”
SOURCES: El Espectador, 3 March 2017 ; E-mail from Marta Royo, 22 March 2017
Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/invima-approves-mifepristone-for-abortion-in-colombia/