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.”
Women’s empowerment is incomplete without access to safe abortion, but this just got worse
September 28, 2019
Women’s reproductive rights in general, and abortion in particular, have been the subject of intense debate globally. Even in countries where the law permits abortions women battle stigma, bias, lack of awareness and information, all of which result in restriction of access to safe abortion.
Almost 48 years after abortion was legalised in India, a majority of women continue to lack access to safe abortion care. Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India. Every day 10 women die in India due to unsafe abortion-related causes and many more suffer from morbidities such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility, which are related to unsafe abortion practices – ranging from home remedies to inserting sharp foreign objects into the cervix.
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.
Why America’s Abortion Rate Might Be Higher Than It Appears
Evidence suggests more American women are “self-managing” their abortions.
By Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz
Sept. 20, 2019
The number of abortions performed in American clinics was lower in 2017 than in any year since abortion became legal nationwide in 1973, new data showed this week. But that does not count a growing number of women who are managing their abortions themselves, without going to a medical office — often by buying pills illicitly.
These “invisible” abortions are hard to measure, so it’s unclear how much higher the true abortion rate is. But researchers say self-managed abortions have risen as abortion has become more restricted in certain states, and as more people have learned that effective pills can be ordered online or purchased across the border.
D.I.Y. – Self-Managed Abortion
Conscience Magazine, 2019 issue 2, Abortion
By Susan Yanow, Joanna Erdman and Kinga Jelinska
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The advent of abortion pills as a health technology has deep personal and political consequences for how, when and where abortions happen. The “discovery” of abortion pills occurred in the 1980s in Brazil, when women noticed that the label for misoprostol, a drug registered to treat gastric ulcers, cautioned against its use by pregnant women because the drug caused uterine cramping. Use of misoprostol alone to end unwanted pregnancy spread quickly in Brazil and across Latin America outside the formal health system, as abortion is criminalized in most of the region. 1
The use of pills for abortion entered formal healthcare systems when the French pharmaceutical company Roussel-Uclaf developed mifepristone for use with a prostaglandin like misoprostol to end a pregnancy (with higher effectiveness than misoprostol alone, although the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes both misoprostol alone and the combination mifepristone/misoprostol as highly safe and effective).2
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.
With Abortion Restrictions On The Rise, Some Women Induce Their Own
September 19, 2019
When Arlen found out she was pregnant this year, she was still finishing college and knew she didn't want a child.
There's a clinic near her home, but Arlen faced other obstacles to getting an abortion.
"I started researching about prices, and I was like, 'Well, I don't have $500,' " said Arlen, who is in her 20s and lives in El Paso, Texas. We're not using her full name to protect her privacy.
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.
Medication abortion reversal is "devoid of scientific support," judge rules in North Dakota
By Kate Smith
September 10, 2019
A judge in North Dakota ruled against the state's recent law requiring physicians to tell patients that their medication abortions may reversed, a claim he called "devoid of scientific support, misleading, and untrue."
In a 24-page decision issued Tuesday morning, Judge Daniel Hovland granted the American Medical Association and Red River Women's Clinic — North Dakota's only abortion provider — a preliminary injunction against North Dakota House Bill 1336, which would have required physicians to tell patients "that it may be possible to reverse the effects of an abortion-inducing drug if she changes her mind, but time is of the essence," according to the law's text.
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.