Abortion After the Clinic
As Republican lawmakers try to legislate it out of existence, the future of reproductive healthcare may be at home.
By Irin Carmon
Nov 11, 2019
When Leana Wen introduced herself to America as the new president of Planned Parenthood last fall, she had a story she liked to tell — one that showed exactly why abortion access mattered. It was a sad tale of “a young woman lying on a stretcher, pulseless and unresponsive, because of a home abortion.” Wen, an emergency physician who had been plucked from Baltimore’s Health Department to take over the century-old institution, said the young woman had arrived at her ER in “a pool of blood” because “she didn’t have access to health care, so she had her cousin attempt an abortion on her at home. We did everything we could to resuscitate her, but she died.”
Wen was talking about a time when abortion was technically legal, yet the story rhymed with the pre-Roe era, when doctors and lawyers spoke of being radicalized by women filling their wards with blood and desperation, the same nightmare the familiar pro-choice rhetoric warns will soon be upon us. Behind the scenes, however, a vanguard of the abortion-rights movement implored Wen, directly and through intermediaries, to stop talking about “home abortion” in such dire terms.
Anti-Abortion Lawmakers Want the State to Know Everything About Your Abortion
Dozens of states require abortion providers to submit data that's not necessary for public health purposes. Experts say the requirements intimidate patients and providers, and could even be used to criminalize abortion.
by Garnet Henderson
Oct 10 2019
Brent Blue has been practicing medicine in Jackson, Wyoming, for 38 years. At his family medicine and urgent care practice, he also provides abortions. As of July 1, each time he performs an abortion he must submit a report to the state including information about the patient’s age, race, county of residence, and previous pregnancies, including the patient’s number of past abortions, miscarriages, births, and number of children living or dead. It also requires details of the termination, including the type of procedure used, complications, and gestational age of the fetus—including fetal weight and length.
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.)
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.
Abortions by mail: the FDA is going after online pill providers
The agency sent warning letters to two web retailers selling the medical abortion pills misoprostol and mifepristone.
By Julia Belluz
Mar 12, 2019
The US Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on organizations that sell medical abortion pills over the internet.
In a warning letter released Tuesday, the agency requested that the online abortion pill provider AidAccess.org immediately stop selling unapproved versions of the abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol and respond to FDA concerns within 15 working days outlining how it will correct its regulatory violations.
Self-Induced Abortion’s Risks Could Leave Immigrant Women Choiceless
"Imagine being undocumented and considering self-managed abortion in this environment."
Jan 17, 20194
With the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the U.S. Supreme Court now has the votes it needs to completely undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case legalizing abortion that turns 46 next week. In response to the likelihood of Roe’s demise, reproductive rights advocates have mounted campaigns raising awareness of the safe and effective use of the drug misoprostol as an option for those who want to self-manage the termination of their pregnancy at home. Self-managed abortion can be an ideal option for immigrant women currently in the crosshairs of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant, anti-choice administration, but the risk of imprisonment is especially high for low-income women of color who obtain the medication through illegal means.
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.
Half Of Reproductive-Age Women Want Easier Access To Abortion Pills, Study Finds
The survey shows many women want the two medications to be available over the counter or online. Nearly half want doctors to provide the pills in advance.
By Catherine Pearson, HuffPost US
Nov 15 2018
A new national survey released Thursday shows substantial support for greater access to medication abortion among women in America.
Currently, a woman who wants to take the abortion pill — actually a combination of two drugs — must go to a medical facility where she takes the first medicine, mifepristone, in front of a clinician, and the second, misoprostol, at home some hours or days later.
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."
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.