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