How to Give Yourself an Abortion

How to Give Yourself an Abortion

January 9, 2020
Posted by Arielle Swernoff
Illustrated by Matt Lubchansky

For as long as people have gotten pregnant, people have given themselves abortions. Historically, these methods have varied from the brutal to the toxic to the bizarre.

But history hasn’t always gotten it wrong. From the Bronze Age until the 1st or 2nd century BCE, silphium, a plant native to Libya, was used as a safe and effective contraceptive and abortifacient. It’s said the plant was so popular that it was harvested to extinction. More recently, enslaved black people in the American South devised numerous herbal treatments to terminate unwanted pregnancies, some of which are still used today.

Continued: https://jewishcurrents.org/how-to-give-yourself-an-abortion/


DIY abortion attempts three times as prevalent in Texas as other states, study finds

DIY abortion attempts three times as prevalent in Texas as other states, study finds

Andrea Zelinski
Jan. 9, 2020

AUSTIN — Using home remedies such as herbs, teas and vitamins or a prescription drug obtained from Mexico, Texas women have tried to end their pregnancies themselves three times more often than women in other states, a new study finds.

The Texas Policy Evaluation Project at The University of Texas at Austin found 6.9 percent percent of 721 patients seeking abortion tried to end their pregnancies on their own before going to an abortion clinic, compared to 2.2 percent nationally. The results of the study were released Thursday morning.

Continued: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/DIY-abortion-attempts-three-times-as-prevalent-in-14962685.php


USA – Why 2020 presidential candidates should support over-the-counter access to abortion pills

Why 2020 presidential candidates should support over-the-counter access to abortion pills
Medication abortion is safe, and the FDA approval process should start now. Meanwhile, policymakers should lift unnecessary restrictions on the pills.

Daniel Grossman, Opinion contributor
Dec. 18, 2019

Abortion access is facing a monumental crisis, as states across the nation continue to advance and enact restrictive abortion laws, the Trump administration puts in place reproductive health policies that ignore science, and the Supreme Court is set to decide a major case on abortion regulations next year.

Amid this treacherous landscape, two key factors will help determine the future of abortion in the United States: the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, and the outcome of ongoing efforts to make medication abortion (also called the abortion pill) easier for people to get.

Continued: https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/2019/12/18/abortion-pills-safe-could-ease-access-crisis-women-column/2665854001/


2020 could see an end to safe, legal abortion anywhere in America

2020 could see an end to safe, legal abortion anywhere in America
It’s more crucial than ever to have a president in office who won’t just pay the usual lip service to women’s rights

Jill Filipovic
Mon 18 Nov 2019

If you care about the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices, 2020 is the year that matters.

It’s too late to do anything about the current makeup of the court – except, of course, for women and the people who love them to be very, very loud in our support of abortion rights, and signal that there will be a serious cost if the court overturns or scales back Roe.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/18/2020-could-see-an-end-to-safe-legal-abortion-anywhere-in-america


USA – Abortion After the Clinic

Abortion After the Clinic
As Republican lawmakers try to legislate it out of existence, the future of reproductive healthcare may be at home.

By Irin Carmon
Nov 11, 2019

When Leana Wen introduced herself to America as the new president of Planned Parenthood last fall, she had a story she liked to tell — one that showed exactly why abortion access mattered. It was a sad tale of “a young woman lying on a stretcher, pulseless and unresponsive, because of a home abortion.” Wen, an emergency physician who had been plucked from Baltimore’s Health Department to take over the century-old institution, said the young woman had arrived at her ER in “a pool of blood” because “she didn’t have access to health care, so she had her cousin attempt an abortion on her at home. We did everything we could to resuscitate her, but she died.”

Wen was talking about a time when abortion was technically legal, yet the story rhymed with the pre-Roe era, when doctors and lawyers spoke of being radicalized by women filling their wards with blood and desperation, the same nightmare the familiar pro-choice rhetoric warns will soon be upon us. Behind the scenes, however, a vanguard of the abortion-rights movement implored Wen, directly and through intermediaries, to stop talking about “home abortion” in such dire terms.

Continued: https://www.thecut.com/2019/11/future-abortion-access-america.html


USA – Self-Managed Abortion May Be On The Rise, But Probably Not A Significant Driver Of The Overall Decline In Abortion

Self-Managed Abortion May Be On The Rise, But Probably Not A Significant Driver Of The Overall Decline In Abortion

Rachel K. Jones,Guttmacher Institute
Megan K. Donovan,Guttmacher Institute

First published on Health Affairs Blog: November 7, 2019

The U.S. abortion landscape is changing rapidly. Large swaths of the country are enacting ever more extreme abortion restrictions, while a number of states are racing to protect or even expand access. In 2020, the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court will consider its first major abortion rights case since Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were confirmed, and additional cases are at the Court’s doorstep. And all the while, the U.S. abortion rate continues to decline: According to a September report from the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate has reached a record low, with concurrent declines in birthrates suggesting that fewer people are becoming pregnant in the first place.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2019/11/self-managed-abortion-may-be-rise-probably-not-significant-driver-overall-decline


South Africa – Mthatha teen in court for allegedly forcing abortion after a break-up

Mthatha teen in court for allegedly forcing abortion after a break-up
The court will have to determine whether the teen was within her rights to abort the baby.

by Andile Sicetsha
2019-10-15

An 18-year-old is expected to appear before the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court, in East London, for the murder of her unborn child.
What prompted the Mthatha teen to abort the baby?

According to police spokesperson, Captain Khaya Tonjeni, the teenager from Mthatha was placed under arrest, on Monday, after students from a college in the Eastern Cape town found a plastic bag containing a lifeless fetus in a campus residence bathroom.

Continued: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/mthatha-teen-court-forcing-abortion-why/


D.I.Y. – Self-Managed Abortion

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

Continued: https://consciencemag.org/2019/09/19/d-i-y/


USA – Almost 40 Percent of Abortions Are Now Done With Pills

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.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/gyzjgx/medication-abortion-rates-in-the-us-hit-record-high-of-40-percent


USA – With Abortion Restrictions On The Rise, Some Women Induce Their Own

With Abortion Restrictions On The Rise, Some Women Induce Their Own

September 19, 2019
Sarah McCammon

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.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/19/759761114/with-abortion-restrictions-on-the-rise-some-women-induce-their-own