USA – Reproductive Rights at Risk With or Without Roe

Reproductive Rights at Risk With or Without Roe
In much of the country, access to abortion has already been blocked by state governments, especially for women in poverty. And if Roe goes, access will be scarcer still.

Kalena Thomhave
January 11, 2019

Recent discussions of abortion rights have been understandably chock-full of apocalyptic imagery and language. Some protesters at the U.S. Capitol in the Trump era have dressed as handmaids à la The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s story of an ultra-conservative totalitarian government that compels women to have the children of the wealthy and powerful. After Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, many — on both the left and right — assumed that Roe v. Wade was soon to fall. “Roe v. Wade is doomed,”CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin pronounced last June to much media fanfare.


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USA – Ensuring Access to Abortion at the State Level: Selected Examples and Lessons

Ensuring Access to Abortion at the State Level: Selected Examples and Lessons

Elizabeth Nash,Guttmacher Institute
Megan K. Donovan,Guttmacher Institute
First published online: January 9, 2019

The October 2018 appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court has called into question the future of Roe v. Wade and abortion access in the United States. Just one month after Justice Kavanaugh took his seat on the bench, voters in Alabama and West Virginia approved state constitutional amendments intended to allow for additional abortion restrictions or even pave the way for outright bans on abortion in the event Roe is undermined or overturned.1

Although the changing composition of the Supreme Court has heightened the risks, efforts to restrict abortion are not new. Policymakers hostile to abortion have been working to undermine abortion care since Roe was decided. As a result, access to abortion already looks very different from state to state, and a person’s access to timely, affordable abortion care can be profoundly impacted by her race, socioeconomic status and available resources.


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USA – What Back Alley? These Women Say DIY Abortion Can Be Empowering

What Back Alley? These Women Say DIY Abortion Can Be Empowering
The pro-choice movement has portrayed non-clinic abortion as a last resort. But some women are trying to change that image.

Emily Shugerman

The image provokes both fear and fury: a wire coat hanger, spattered with blood, symbolizing the drastic measures women may take when abortion access is limited.

Whoopi Goldberg brandished one on stage at the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, urging the younger generation to remember what their forebears used. Protesters at the 1989 March for Women's Equality carried a giant replica, stained red, through the streets of Washington D.C. like a macabre parade float. And the symbol has been ubiquitous since Donald Trump’s election, popping up at marches, in the pages of glossy magazines, and on this site.

The imagery makes Jill Adams, founder of the Self-Induced Abortion Legal Team, shake her head.


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USA – As access to abortion gets harder in the US, women turn to an online service in the Netherlands

As access to abortion gets harder in the US, women turn to an online service in the Netherlands

December 17, 2018
By Allison Herrera
(also a podcast)

Marie was 19 when a pregnancy test she took in the bathroom at work came out positive. That was a couple of years ago. Marie, a waitress, thought to herself, "I really can't afford to take care of a child."

It was her second pregnancy and the second time she needed an abortion. Marie decided not to go to a clinic this time, though.


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Let’s talk about the stigma of multiple abortions

Let's talk about the stigma of multiple abortions

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Women Help Women

The longer a person can get pregnant is alive, the more likely they are to have an abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 45 percent of folks who have had abortions have had more than one. Multiple abortions are common, and we know that more than one safe abortion doesn't threaten a person's ability to have children in the future, nor does it have a negative impact their health.

You've probably heard the sentiment "I don't believe in using abortion as birth control," referring to folks who have more than one abortion. Aside from the fact that abortion is literally birth control - it stops you from giving birth - let's remember that birth control can fail (even when it's taken correctly), emergency contraception can be often difficult/impossible to obtain, and the information that people get about sex, consent, and birth control is often incorrect and fear-based.


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How stigma and restricted access stop Indian women from seeking safe abortions

How stigma and restricted access stop Indian women from seeking safe abortions
When women who approach doctors are denied abortion, they are forced to break the law and opt for unsafe abortion. The result? Unsafe abortions is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India.

Haripriya Suresh and Shiba Kurian
Friday, November 30, 2018

For her first termination of pregnancy, Aishwarya* had gone to a gynaecologist, but was flat out denied by the doctor, who said she would not perform the abortion. The doctor then referred her to a colleague, who turned out to be an IVF specialist. The second doctor, too, denied her the abortion, and instead asked her to carry the pregnancy to term and have a baby. Aishwarya was seven weeks pregnant at the time, but the IVF specialist refused to give her a medical kit, and stated that she was too far along, and asked her to come in for a prohibitively expensive surgery to abort.

“I walked out of the hospital, went to my neighbourhood pharmacy, asked for the kit, and I self-medicated,” Aishwarya says.


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USA – Everything You Need To Know About Self-Managed Abortion

Everything You Need To Know About Self-Managed Abortion

Meera Shah
Nov 28, 2018

The coat hanger is a symbol of an era before Roe vs. Wade, when abortion was illegal and people tried managing it with the only means they knew: a straightened coat hanger used to dangerously induce a termination that would often result in hemorrhage, and sometimes death. While outdated, the symbol of the coat hanger is a persistent reminder that when abortion is illegal or out of reach, people will find other means to terminate their pregnancies. Today people have safer means of self-managing abortion.

Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion in all 50 states in the United States in 1973, but it didn’t give everyone an unfettered right to access it, either without burden or significant obstacles


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USA – With abortion clinic restrictions tightening, women want more access at home

With abortion clinic restrictions tightening, women want more access at home
Medication abortion likely meets the FDA criteria for OTC use, but women are still required to get it at a clinic

by Antonia Biggs • Daniel Grossman
November 28, 2018

The website Aid Access recently began offering women in the U.S. the option to obtain an abortion in the privacy of their own homes. U.S. women who are unable to overcome the significant barriers to accessing abortion in a health care setting or prefer the convenience and privacy of home-based care can use the site to purchase a medication abortion product online. While this may seem like a radical approach by U.S. standards, it is likely safe for most women, and especially helpful for women living far from an abortion facility.

The launch of Aid Access comes at a time when women increasingly are faced with restrictions to accessing abortion care. Now more than ever, there is a need to expand the ways that women can obtain the abortion care that they need. Medication abortion, which represents about a third of all abortions provided in health care settings, has the capacity to offer women more choices and to reduce many existing barriers to abortion care.


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USA – Abortion Pills Are No Post-Roe Panacea

Abortion Pills Are No Post-Roe Panacea
Yes, they are revolutionary. But price and legal barriers to access mean that coat hangers aren’t safely back in the closet for good just yet.

By Françoise Girard
Nov. 25, 2018

As abortion rights have come under increasing attack in the United States, commentators have held up self-administered abortion pills as a backup plan for a post-Roe world. They point to the millions of pregnant women worldwide who are using pills to self-manage abortion, citing them as an example of what reproductive health care might look like should in-clinic abortions be made illegal.

There’s no question that abortion pills are revolutionary. In the hands of women, the pills have transformed self-induced abortion from a once-dangerous endeavor into a safe procedure. Abortion help lines have walked women through the process of self-management, sometimes remotely or even over the internet. Where abortion is illegal, black market access to the drugs has resulted in significant decreases in complications and deaths.


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Self-managed Abortion Highlights Need to Decriminalize Abortion Worldwide

Self-managed Abortion Highlights Need to Decriminalize Abortion Worldwide
Most of the world's decades-old abortion laws don't reflect the advent of the abortion pill, and they permit the punishment of people who end their own pregnancies and nonmedical providers.

Nov 12, 2018
Patty Skuster, Kinga Jelinska & Susan Yanow

In countries with a range of laws regulating abortion, there is growing evidence that people are safely self-managing their abortions outside a clinical context—sourcing and using misoprostol alone or in combination with mifepristone, on their own and with the help of family and friends, or with community-based support.

Recognizing the potential of abortion pills to expand access to safe abortion, feminist collectives across the world have mobilized to create reliable resources about self-managed abortion. Activists run telephone hotlines, email help desks, and groups to provide information about self-management. Women often obtain the medicines through online services, community distribution networks, or pharmacies.


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