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.
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.
How to Make Abortion Great Again
Poland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the European Union, and in practice, it's all but banned. But four women, nicknamed the "Abortion Dream Team," are pushing back, holding workshops around the country teaching women how to obtain and self-manage a medical abortion. With Roe v. Wade at risk of being overturned in the U.S., is their story a cautionary tale, or a possible roadmap for American women?
By Anna Louie Sussman
Nov 4, 2019
On a rainy day in May, in the Polish coastal city of Gdańsk, in a high-ceilinged room on the second floor of an unremarkable building, 16 women and five men sat in mismatched office chairs around a long table, waiting to learn how to administer a medical abortion. Before the workshop began in earnest, one of the speakers, Karolina Więckiewicz, turned to a bald, bearded man on her left, whose papers spread out in front of him suggested he might be from a prosecutor’s office, and asked him to stop recording.
The Abortion Rate Is the Lowest It’s Ever Been—Here’s Why
October 23, 2019
By Anna Borges
Staying on top of what’s going on with abortion in the United States can feel like being on a freaking roller coaster. Every new headline broadcasting an attack on abortion access leaves us scrambling to understand what it really means for people who might need abortions. Witnessing all these debates about whether or not we should have autonomy over our own bodies is also exhausting. Despite the ever-changing abortion landscape, one thing has remained constant: the steady decline of the abortion rate over the years.
Last month the Guttmacher Institute released a study showing that in 2017 there were 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. This marked an 8% decline since 2014 and a 54% decline since 1980, when the U.S. abortion rate peaked at 29.3 procedures per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. It’s the lowest abortion rate recorded since the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide.
The states with the most online requests for abortion medications
By Jen Christensen, CNN
Thu October 17, 2019
(CNN) Women who live in states with strict and punitive abortion laws account for the majority of requests made to a website that supplies abortion medications, a new study has found.
The website, Women on Web (WoW), has been run by an international non-profit since 2006 and provides abortion medications -- under doctor supervision -- to women who have submitted medical paperwork prior to 10 weeks of gestation.
More People Are Starting to Prefer Managing Their Abortions on Their Own
And it's not just because of restrictive state laws.
by Marie Solis
Oct 17 2019
People are turning to at-home abortion as state lawmakers attack reproductive rights and restrict clinic access across the United States, according to new research published in the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday.
The findings are the result of a 10-month study of Women on Web, a website that prescribes and sells abortion pills abroad — not in the United States. But despite that caveat, the Netherlands-based doctor who runs the site, Rebecca Gomperts, says she has received requests from American women since she began operations in 2006.
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
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.
How Abortion Pills Will Shape Our Future
The Supreme Court may make it harder to get to an abortion clinic, but thanks to drugs, coat hangers can remain a thing of the past.
By Katha Pollitt
Oct 10, 2019
The news that the Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case since Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy has prompted many to wonder whether Roe v. Wade will finally, unfortunately, be overturned. The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, challenges a Louisiana law requiring clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Sound familiar? In 2016 in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the court struck down a Texas law over a similar requirement. You’d think that would have settled the matter, but no. The case is essentially the same, but the court is not.
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.