Use of ‘at-home abortion pills’ rises amid pandemic – and faces new threats

Medication abortions have are a safe and accessible method of terminating pregnancy, but they have been targeted by onerous FDA restrictions

Cecilia Nowell
Sun 1 Nov 2020

With six conservative justices now sitting on the supreme court, the future of abortion access in US looks increasingly uncertain. But in addition to concerns about whether abortion clinics can stay open, activists are warning that lesser-known abortion medications are also under threat.

Medication abortions have been proven to be a safe and effective method of terminating pregnancy, and because they can be completed without doctor supervision, they serve as a crucial alternative for those who have had other abortion services shuttered in their state, or who do not feel safe accessing traditional health services.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/01/at-home-abortion-pills-increasingly-in-demand-amid-pandemic-under-new-threats


Pro-choice groups push Argentine President to keep abortion promise

BALA CHAMBERS
Oct 26, 2020

Earlier this year, the Argentinian President had promised to send an abortion bill to Congress. Now, despite the pandemic and opposition from religious sectors, pro-choice activists want him to follow up on his pledge to legalise abortion.

In 2014 Belen, a woman in her late 20s in northern Argentina’s Tucumán, went to hospital severely haemorrhaging. She was later sentenced to eight years in prison, after a court said she had an abortion. But Belén always insisted her innocence, saying she had suffered a miscarriage. The initial court ruling was later overturned. After a two year jail sentence, Belen was freed.

Continued: https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/pro-choice-groups-push-argentine-president-to-keep-abortion-promise-40916


Telemedicine Abortions Are Safe — So Why Are They Still So Hard To Get?

ELIZABETH GULINOLAST
OCTOBER 20, 2020

Katie realized she was pregnant during the first week of April 2020. She decided pretty quickly that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. She already had two kids, and she’d just been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The condition was still uncontrolled, which made her pregnancy high-risk. But it was just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. She was in full lockdown, and she wasn’t sure if she could get an abortion.

"I was Googling abortions," she tells Refinery29. "My biggest thing was not wanting to actually go to a place." Besides being afraid of catching the virus, the nearest clinic to Katie was six hours away from her home in New Mexico, and she wasn’t sure how she’d find the time to get there.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/10/10015435/medical-abortion-pill-telabortion-access


This is the future of abortion in a post-Roe America

The fall of Roe v. Wade won’t end abortion. Here’s what it will do.

By Anna North 
Oct 12, 2020

If Roe v. Wade falls, what happens to abortion in America?

That’s the question on a lot of Americans’ minds after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with the Supreme Court on the brink of a 6-3 conservative majority. If the Senate confirms President Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, the Court will likely have the votes to overturn the landmark 1973 decision that established Americans’ right to terminate a pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/21504883/supreme-court-abortion-roe-v-wade-barrett


Blood, sweat and tears of unsafe abortions and the better way out

by NJERI MBUGUA

09 October
2020

We are sitting in her studio apartment, and during the duration of our
conversation, she carefully tucks herself at the corner of her bed.

She had requested me to sit at her study table, just next to the bed on a
wooden chair facing her. Her eyes were swollen and she told me she was yet to
change the sheets in her bed.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/sasa/lifestyle/2020-10-09-blood-sweat-and-tears-of-unsafe-abortions-and-the-better-way-out/


Bhutan – Demand for abortion pills rise in Thimphu

October 8, 2020
Yeshey Lhadon

Recently, a 25-year-old unmarried woman in Thimphu went to her friend. She was desperately looking for abortion pills. She could not find them in medical stores in Thimphu.

Staff at
one of the medical stores said that both men and women visited the drugstores
looking for misoprostol, a drug that’s used to abort pregnancy during the early
days.

Continued: https://kuenselonline.com/demand-for-abortion-pills-rise-in-thimphu/


USA – How Politics And Bureaucracy Halted The Promise Of The Abortion Pill

Twenty years after medication abortion was approved in the U.S., patients are still jumping through hoops to access it.

By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
09/28/2020

Twenty years ago today, the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, a drug used to terminate early pregnancies that held the promise of revolutionizing abortion care in the U.S.

Colloquially called the abortion pill, mifepristone is taken in combination with another drug, misoprostol, and allows patients under 10 weeks pregnant to have an abortion in the privacy of their home, instead of inside an abortion clinic. Reproductive rights activists lobbying for the drug envisioned a future where women could have the pills prescribed by their primary physician and dispensed at their local pharmacy, transforming abortion into just another part of normal health care.

Continued: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/abortion-pill-mifepristone_n_5f720134c5b64e0666608a12?ri18n=true


The FDA approved the abortion pill 20 years ago. It’s time to make it available via telehealth

By USHMA D. UPADHYAY
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020

Twenty years ago this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved a medication destined to become known as the abortion pill. Mifepristone, then called RU486, was going to change everything about abortion — it would expand access and remove the stigma.

I remember devouring the news because this little pill was going to give women reproductive autonomy and let them control if and when they have children. At the time, I was just starting my Ph.D. in public health. The news inspired and exhilarated me, and I knew that the abortion pill is what I wanted to focus my career on.

Continued: https://www.statnews.com/2020/09/24/make-abortion-pill-available-via-telehealth/


USA – Abortion Regulation in the Age of COVID-19

Both abortion advocates and opponents have used the COVID-19 crisis to further their policy goals.

Carrie N. Baker
Sep 21, 2020

The gendered dimensions of the political response to the COVID-19 crisis are manifesting clearly in efforts to close abortion clinics, as well as in campaigns led by doctors, lawyers, and reproductive rights advocates to expand access to telemedicine abortion during the pandemic and beyond.

Anti-abortion politicians in states across the country have used the COVID-19 pandemic to attempt to restrict abortion, arguing that abortion is not essential health care and that banning the procedure will conserve personal protective equipment for COVID-19 cases. In March and April of 2020, 12 states tried to restrict abortion, including Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia, among others. Legislators in Kentucky passed a bill to allow the state’s Attorney General to block abortion access during COVID-19, but the Kentucky governor vetoed the bill.
Continued: https://www.theregreview.org/2020/09/21/baker-abortion-regulation-covid-19/


Abortion by pill is becoming more widespread in America

Changes to medical technology will change the politics of the country’s original culture war

The Economist
Sep 19th 2020 edition

When women used to tell Susan Long (not her real name), a doctor in Washington state, that they wanted to terminate a pregnancy, she would refer them to an abortion clinic. Today, they need not even walk into her office: after an online consultation, she prescribes two pills, which she posts, along with instructions on how to take them several hours apart.

It is difficult to exaggerate the benefit for “innumerable” women of being able to have an abortion at home, without having to arrange a trip to a clinic, she says, describing some of them. The university student living with her conservative parents, hundreds of miles from the nearest abortion clinic. The woman whose violent husband is vehemently pro-life. Single mothers, strapped for cash and child care. Those whose frail health prevents them risking exposure to covid-19 at a doctor’s office.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/09/19/abortion-by-pill-is-becoming-more-widespread-in-america