Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground

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Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground
Code names, top-secret training, and a movement of women determined to avoid the medical establishment.

Nina Liss-Schultz
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?

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2018/02/inside-the-top-secret-abortion-underground/

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USA: Self-Managed Abortion and Embodying the Principles of Reproductive Justice

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Self-Managed Abortion and Embodying the Principles of Reproductive Justice

Jan 12, 2018
Marlene G. Fried & Susan Yanow

Legal and policy barriers too often render the legal right to abortion meaningless, especially for those individuals and communities who are already the most vulnerable.

Worldwide, there is an enormous gap between having the legal right to abortion and being able to access one. This is painfully obvious in the United States. While abortion is legal, its opponents have successfully decreased access to services through restrictive laws; bans on Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance coverage; and violence directed at clinics and providers.

These strategies have successfully put abortion clinic services out of reach for many people. Their long-range goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade and re-criminalize abortion. In the meantime, legal and policy barriers too often render the legal right to abortion meaningless, especially for those individuals and communities who are already the most vulnerable.

Continued at source: https://rewire.news/article/2018/01/12/self-managed-abortion-embodying-principles-reproductive-justice/

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Peru: New study on abortion pill shows high success, low rate of complications

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New study on abortion pill shows high success, low rate of complications
by Ariana Eunjung Cha
January 11, 2018

Abortion is legally restricted in Peru, forcing women who want to end their pregnancies to seek other means. (Mariana Bazo/Reuters)

Ever since the abortion pill RU-486 began to hit the market in the 1980s, questions have lingered about its safety, especially for women who take it in countries where terminating an unwanted pregnancy is restricted and they cannot openly seek help from a medical professional if something goes wrong.

As reports of deaths and injuries grew in the early 2000s and the pill became a big political issue, studies were launched to try to get more data on the safety question. The results are starting to come out.

Continued at source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/01/11/new-study-on-abortion-pill-shows-high-success-low-rate-of-complications/

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USA: It Always Comes Down to Abortion

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It Always Comes Down to Abortion

Katie McDonough
Jan 5, 2017

In the final months of 2017, the Trump administration tried and failed to block three undocumented teenagers from getting abortions while in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. In each case, the young women sought access to the procedure only to be refused by the agency, which cited a policy issued in March barring “any action that facilitates” abortion for unaccompanied minors, including “scheduling appointments, transportation, or other arrangements,” unless approved by agency director Scott Lloyd.

That approval would likely never come, even in cases of rape, because, according to a letter from Lloyd, to allow minors in ORR custody to terminate their pregnancies would be the equivalent of “being asked to participate in killing a human being in our care.”

Continued at source: https://splinternews.com/it-always-comes-down-to-abortion-1821812298

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US: SIA In Our Communities: A Conversation

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SIA In Our Communities: A Conversation
Dec 7, 2017

SIA In Our Communities: A Conversation was a community-engaged research project involving people who work with populations likely to be targeted by law enforcement for ending pregnancies outside the formal healthcare system. Reproductive justice activists, community-based abortion providers, and other advocates who center potentially impacted communities in their work came together to explore the cultural origins of, growing need for, and legal risks associated with supported and self-induced abortion ("SIA") in non-clinical settings. This report captures the hopes, concerns, and recommendations for the RHRJ movement(s) from the critical perspectives of some of the communities that have the most to gain or to lose through advocacy efforts to decriminalize and normalize non-clinical abortion.

A CONVERSATION: SIA IN OUR COMMUNITIES: Read the Report

Continued at source: https://www.sialegalteam.org/sioc

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UK: Men can now buy Viagra over the counter – but women can’t take an abortion pill from a doctor at home

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Men can now buy Viagra over the counter – but women can't take an abortion pill from a doctor at home
A spokesperson from the MHRA was quoted as saying they were glad of the change because it would prevent men from buying unregulated pills illegally on the internet. This is the same agency that does week-long raids every year on abortion pills

Holly Baxter
Tuesday 28 November 2017

Great news for Britain: men with erectile dysfunction can now buy Viagra over the counter, so long as a pharmacist agrees. What a fantastic coup this is for a country which has such a huge commitment to reproductive health – huge enough that our rates of death in childbirth still lag far behind many of our European counterparts, including Poland, Belarus and Greece. Huge enough that we still haven’t fully decriminalised abortion despite the recommendations of GPs, gynaecologists and the British Medical Association. Huge enough that Northern Irish women still can’t access abortion where they live (except in certain, extremely restrictive circumstances), and only won the right to access free abortion services in England this year. Doesn’t it feel great to live in real civilisation?

Continued at source: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/viagra-buy-over-counter-abortion-pill-men-women-compared-a8080851.html

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Australia: Sydney woman prosecuted for taking abortion drug

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Sydney woman prosecuted for taking abortion drug

Michaela Whitbourn
August 14 2017

A Sydney woman who bought pills on the internet to abort her child after her boyfriend urged her to terminate the pregnancy has been prosecuted for self-administering a drug to procure a miscarriage.

In a decision on July 5, made public on Monday, Local Court magistrate Geoffrey Hiatt said the woman, who was 28 at the time, had a "clear intent to procure a miscarriage".

Continued at source: Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-woman-prosecuted-for-taking-abortion-drug-20170814-gxvoqd.html

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U.S.: Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions

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Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
By Katie Klabusich, Truthout | News Analysis

In just the first three months of this year, 431 abortion restrictions were introduced at the state level. Plus, 2017 has seen the confirmation of anti-choice Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule (an international policy that prohibits nongovernmental organizations across the globe that receive US family planning funds from advocating for or even discussing abortion). Add in the 338 state-level restrictions passed between 2010-2016, and it is increasingly clear that abortion access -- at least in the short term -- is slipping away in this country.

Continued: Truthout: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40814-ending-the-stigma-and-prosecution-of-self-administered-abortions

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U.S.: Should over-the-counter medical abortion be available?

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Should over-the-counter medical abortion be available?
Daniel Grossman

At the moment, the idea of over-the-counter access to medication abortion in the United States sounds crazy. But preliminary data suggests it is safe

Friday 28 April 2017

The coat hanger – often with a red line through it – is a powerful feminist symbol. Conjuring images of women suffering unspeakable consequences of unsafe abortion, the coat hanger sends a foreboding message about a past we must not return to. The implications are clear: abortions women give themselves when they cannot access legal services are dangerous.

While the coat hanger rhetoric has been useful for the abortion rights movement, it has become problematic in the 21st century. Coat hangers are no longer the method of choice for women who want to end a pregnancy on their own. In my research in Texas, women much more commonly report using medications or herbs when they try to self-induce an abortion. Some of these medications are very safe and effective, while the problem with herbs is that they are often ineffective.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/28/should-over-counter-medical-abortion-be-available

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U.S.: This New Site Aims to Make It Safer to Have an Abortion at Home

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This New Site Aims to Make It Safer to Have an Abortion at Home
"If we truly believe in women’s self-determination, they should also have a choice in how."

By Jill Filipovic
Apr 27, 2017

No one knows exactly how many women in the United States induce their own abortions every year, but we do know that, despite abortion being legal, a number of women take matters into their own hands. In the United States, women self-managing their own abortions — whether because they can’t access or afford a legal abortion in a clinic, because of feelings of fear or shame, or because they simply prefer the privacy of ending a pregnancy themselves — have long relied on word of mouth, Google, or their own instincts to figure out what to do and whether something has gone wrong.

That’s what Women Help Women wants to change. The organization just launched a new website that offers personalized information for women seeking to end early pregnancies with misoprostol, an abortion-inducing medication.

Continued at source: Cosmopolitan: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a9560329/self-managed-home-abortion-pill/

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