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.
How Bangladesh Made Abortion Safer
The government’s effort to help Rohingya victims of wartime rape has lessons for the world.
By Patrick Adams
Dec. 28, 2018
No one knows how many Rohingya became pregnant as a result of rape by the Myanmar military. No one knows how many babies were born to survivors of sexual violence living among the 750,000 Rohingya in camps in Bangladesh.
The systematic sexual violence against the Rohingya reminded many in Bangladesh of their own painful history: During Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971, the Pakistani military and local collaborators killed about 300,000 civilians and raped and tortured as many as 400,000 women and girls.
With Reproductive Rights in Great Jeopardy, ‘Plan C’ Is More Important Than Ever
Plan C—making "missed period pills" widely available—would give users the power to decide whether or not they wished to test for or confirm pregnancy before taking pills to bring on their period.
Jul 6, 2018
Francine Coeytaux, Victoria Nichols & Elisa Wells
Four years ago, we argued for an important new family planning option. We envisioned a method that could be used at home when a period was late to induce menstruation and thus reassure individuals that they were not pregnant. Plan C, we posited, was not only possible—the technology already existed in the form of mifepristone and misoprostol—but could be the answer to the age-old question asked by women around the world, “What do I do if my period is late and I don’t want to be pregnant?” With the recent news of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s resignation and the rising concern about a likely shift in the balance of the U.S. Supreme Court, the need to ensure timely and affordable access to innovative reproductive health options like Plan C is even more urgent.
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?
The secret home abortion movement that started in LA two years before Roe v. Wade
by Christopher Greenspon | Off-Ramp®
April 14, 2017
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story may be disturbing for some people. It includes frank discussion of abortion and somewhat graphic clinical descriptions of abortion procedures.
Norma McCorvey — better known as the "Roe" of Roe v. Wade, which established a woman's right to an abortion in the U.S. — died in February at the age of 69. She was credited with taking abortion out of the back alley, although she switched sides in the last part of her life.
But two years prior to the 1973 Supreme Court decision, a woman from Eagle Rock had made it her mission to take abortion from the back alley to the living room. Her name is Carol Downer and she helped create an underground network of unlicensed women who performed home abortions. She wrote books on female anatomy, went to jail, and ran a women’s health and abortion clinic in Hollywood which burned down in 1985.
Continued at source: Southern California Public Radio: http://www.scpr.org/programs/offramp/2017/04/14/56179/the-secret-home-abortion-movement-started-in-la-tw/