Amid Covid-19, a Call for M.D.s to Mail the Abortion Pill
For decades, the consensus has been that F.D.A. regulations require that the abortion pill be obtained in a clinic. But that’s changing.
By Patrick Adams
May 12, 2020
Last fall, months before America’s first outbreak of the coronavirus, Francine Coeytaux and Elisa Wells, co-founders of the abortion rights advocacy group Plan C, were reaching out to doctors with a question they said was urgent:
“Would you be willing to mail the ‘abortion pills’ to women in their homes?”
Buying pills online for an at-home abortion: a lockdown reality
Lucie AUBOURG, AFP News
9 May 2020
With the coronavirus crisis raging, women in the United States are increasingly going online to buy their own pills for a "self-managed" abortion
One week after Sally realized she was pregnant, her home state Texas temporarily banned abortions, deeming them unnecessary elective procedures that were suspended because of the coronavirus crisis.
How a Network of Activists Are Helping Women Get Abortions in Argentina During Coronavirus Lockdown
By Ciara Nugent
May 1, 2020
These days, Ruth Zurbriggen finds herself having meetings at midnight. A university lecturer in the Argentine province of Neuquén, Zurbriggen spends her spare time helping other women get abortions in a country where the procedure is only legal in a few circumstances. Stuck at home because of a nationwide quarantine order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, women often need to speak at night, when their families or partners are asleep and can’t hear them talking about their decision.
Zurbriggen, 54, is a founding member of the Socorristas en Red (literally, Network of Lifeguards), a group of 504 activists spread across Argentina’s territory. The socorristas help women navigate the country’s health system, which, by law is meant to provide abortion in cases of rape or where the pregnancy is a risk to the health of the mother.
Abortion by Telemedicine: A Growing Option as Access to Clinics Wanes
The coronavirus has created a surge in demand for telemedicine of all types — including for a quietly expanding program for terminating pregnancies.
By Pam Belluck
April 28, 2020
Ashley Dale was grateful she could end her pregnancy at home.
As her 3-year-old daughter played nearby, she spoke by video from her living room in Hawaii with Dr. Bliss Kaneshiro, an obstetrician-gynecologist, who was a 200-mile plane ride away in Honolulu. The doctor explained that two medicines that would be mailed to Ms. Dale would halt her pregnancy and cause a miscarriage.
Self-Managed Abortions May Be More Difficult to Access Right Now—Here’s What You Need to Know
With supply chain disruptions in India due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, medication abortion may be less accessible—an issue compounded by anti-choice state officials trying to ban the procedure and the FDA.
Apr 14, 2020
If you visit aidaccess.org in search of the abortion pill right now, you won’t be able to find what they’re looking for. Aid Access, a website that offers medication abortion pills by mail for people in the United States seeking to self-manage their abortion, has hit a snag in its supply chain, thanks to a halt in trade out of India because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Because of [COVID-19] the government of India have decided to close all international airports to prevent corona virus outbreak and therefor [sic] the pharmacy in India cannot send the medicines until further notice,” reads a disclosure on the Aid Access website’s consultation page.
Pandemic further hinders safe abortion in Latin America
By Carlos Christian
April 9, 2020
Calls decreased, but text messages increased. They cannot speak because they hear them. They cannot say in front of their families that they seek help, that they need to abort. Las Comadres, a feminist network in Ecuador that provides information to women who want to terminate their pregnancies with drugs, has had to change its communication channels in recent weeks. Telephone calls are becoming increasingly difficult. Isolation, imposed as a mitigation measure by Covid-19, has limited the freedom of those seeking access to an abortion, but not the determination of those who are determined to do so.
Verónica Vera, one of the sixty Ecuadorians who responds to requests for accompaniment, now through platforms such as Telegram, says that in March requests for support increased by 25%. Women who want to abort will do so even in a health emergency, and the public health system in Latin America seems not ready to respond. “The difficulty of mobilizing due to the measures adopted by the pandemic, the collapsed medical services and the lack of privacy within prolonged confinements could lead to a setback in Latin America,” he warns.
It's Time For A Revolution In At-Home Abortion
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fiction that most abortions need to be performed in a clinic setting.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
The callers wanted to know how to end their pregnancies without going outside. Many were afraid to travel for fear of contracting the coronavirus, which spreads through contact with others. Some didn’t have the financial resources to make an arduous, often multi-day trip to an abortion clinic. Others were stuck in states where abortions were temporarily halted by Republican leaders exploiting the crisis to erode access.
Faced with dwindling options, callers to the helpline run by the reproductive rights group If/When/How, were considering “self-managed abortion,” loosely defined as ending a pregnancy without the formal supervision of a health care professional. Calls to the confidential helpline have more than doubled in the past two weeks, according to Jill Adams, the group’s executive director.
Access to remote abortion services should not be temporary
April 2, 2020
Remote abortion care should always be offered to ensure the health of women, irrespective of whether there is a pandemic, argue Elizabeth Chloe Romanis and Jordan Parsons
On 30 March 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care liberalised abortion regulations, allowing women in England to be consulted about abortion care remotely and to take both abortion medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, at home. This same change had already been made the previous week, but was then revoked within a couple of hours. The Scottish and Welsh governments both followed suit on 31 March 2020 and have also authorised the remote prescription of abortion pills and for both pills to be taken at home. Before these interventions, women were required to attend clinics in order to access treatment that could have safely been provided remotely—a stance that was paradoxical during the pandemic.
Self-Managed Abortion Is Medically Very Safe. But Is It Legally Safe?
by Carrie N. Baker
Between 1969 and 1973, feminists in Chicago with no formal medical training formed an underground abortion service called Jane that performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions.
Today, as many states increasingly restrict medical professionals’ ability to offer abortion, women are once again finding ways to access safe abortion on their own.
England Leads Way in UK after U-Turn on COVID-19 Abortion Access
Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow
March 31, 2020
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division
The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales – and governments across Europe – should swiftly follow suit.
The welcome decision follows outrage and confusion last week after the government announced the change only to reverse it hours later.