Not Your Grandmother’s Illegal Abortion
By Jennifer Block
July 1, 2019
The sola variety of papaya resembles a pregnant uterus, so much so that around the world, humans use the fruit to learn one method of modern reproductive health care: manual vacuum aspiration, or MVA, a low-risk, low-tech method of first-trimester abortion that requires little or no anesthesia. As one doctor remarked at a conference in 1973, where the technology was introduced to physicians from around the world, “it’s something we will be able to bring practically into the rice paddy.”
This, too, is the fruit I have been given to practice on. I’ve placed it on a table across from me, and I’m focused on the neck, where its stem grew, which evokes the cervical os. The tool I’m using is a large plastic syringe with a bendable plastic strawlike thing, called a cannula, where the needle would be. At the top of the syringe is a bivalve to create one-way suction.
The Complicated Reality of Buying Abortion Pills Online
An abortion provider delves into the safety, efficacy, and legality.
April 8, 2019
By Jennifer Conti, M.D., M.S.
Given the many obstacles facing reproductive rights in our current political climate, we as physicians are seeing some people take abortion into their own hands. No, I’m not talking about coat-hanger abortions or any of the other infamous and tragic methods that people in the past (and, sadly, even some in the present) have explored.
Specifically, I’m talking about those who are self-managing medication abortions, meaning that they’re getting and taking abortion medications without going through a health-care provider at all.
Abortions by mail: the FDA is going after online pill providers
The agency sent warning letters to two web retailers selling the medical abortion pills misoprostol and mifepristone.
By Julia Belluz
Mar 12, 2019
The US Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on organizations that sell medical abortion pills over the internet.
In a warning letter released Tuesday, the agency requested that the online abortion pill provider AidAccess.org immediately stop selling unapproved versions of the abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol and respond to FDA concerns within 15 working days outlining how it will correct its regulatory violations.
The New Abortion Underground Starts With Information
The threats against safe abortions are changing—where women once feared the coat hanger, the symbol of the handcuff is now more ominous. Is arming activists with information the first step in keeping abortion accessible?
By Meghan Racklin
January 22, 2019
A papaya, it turns out, is a good model of a uterus in the early stages of pregnancy. Well—the papaya is a bit bigger, actually. And the average uterus has more of a tilt. But overall, the fruit is a close replica.
That’s what I’m told during a training session hosted by the Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP). Under the guidance of our instructor, a doctor and RHAP fellow, I insert a thin metal instrument into the top of my papaya to create an opening before inserting a small suction device called an aspirator. There’s a slight slurping sound as the papaya seeds are sucked into the aspirator’s main chamber. Slurp. Slurp. Slurp. And then it’s done.
Self-Induced Abortion’s Risks Could Leave Immigrant Women Choiceless
"Imagine being undocumented and considering self-managed abortion in this environment."
Jan 17, 20194
With the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the U.S. Supreme Court now has the votes it needs to completely undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case legalizing abortion that turns 46 next week. In response to the likelihood of Roe’s demise, reproductive rights advocates have mounted campaigns raising awareness of the safe and effective use of the drug misoprostol as an option for those who want to self-manage the termination of their pregnancy at home. Self-managed abortion can be an ideal option for immigrant women currently in the crosshairs of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant, anti-choice administration, but the risk of imprisonment is especially high for low-income women of color who obtain the medication through illegal means.
Half Of Reproductive-Age Women Want Easier Access To Abortion Pills, Study Finds
The survey shows many women want the two medications to be available over the counter or online. Nearly half want doctors to provide the pills in advance.
By Catherine Pearson, HuffPost US
Nov 15 2018
A new national survey released Thursday shows substantial support for greater access to medication abortion among women in America.
Currently, a woman who wants to take the abortion pill — actually a combination of two drugs — must go to a medical facility where she takes the first medicine, mifepristone, in front of a clinician, and the second, misoprostol, at home some hours or days later.
Women in tech are mobilizing to improve access to abortion providers
In the face of a U.S. administration increasingly hostile to a woman’s right to choose, a number of organizations are finding new and clever ways to deliver access.
By Rina Raphael
Nov 1, 2018
In 2016, the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), a network of 70 organizations supporting access to abortion, was putting together its annual fundraising Bowl-a-Thon, a coordinated nationwide series of games that featured a night full of drinks, gutter balls, and striped shirts—all in the name of reproductive rights. Women across the country gathered together to play and pick pun-heavy team names like Kiss Our Uter-Ass, Bowl V. Wade, and The Fempire Strikes Back.
But in the weeks leading up the fundraising event, the Bowl-a-Thon suffered a devastating setback: It was hacked. Not by bored teenagers, North Korean hackers, or the Russians—but by pro-life activists.
Women Who Face Prosecution for Home Abortions Finally Have a Number to Call
“Folks need to know there are lawyers who respect their dignity and will back them up.”
October 30, 2018
During his campaign for president, Donald Trump told voters he believed that women who end their pregnancies should face “some form of punishment.” He soon walked back his remarks, but the statement, along with his promise (since fulfilled) to put anti-abortion justices on the Supreme Court, sent a message: Women should no longer assume that abortion will remain a legal option.
In some circles, at least, the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has raised concerns about a future America in which extra-clinical abortions are the new normal—and criminal.
This Self-Managed Abortion Helpline Will Answer All Your Legal Questions About The Procedure
By Madhuri Sathish
Oct 30, 2018
As abortion access in the U.S. has become increasingly restricted, more Americans have turned to self-managed abortions, such as those induced by abortion pills. In order to help people concerned about navigating the legality of terminating their pregnancies themselves, a team of lawyers launched an abortion helpline on Tuesday that aims to serve as a free and confidential resource.
The SIA Legal Team, which works to give people increased self-determination in their reproductive lives, is behind the helpline (844-868-2812) and website. Jill Adams, the group's founder and strategy director, tells Bustle the helpline is designed for "anyone who has ended their own pregnancy and been questioned by the authorities or fears they might be questioned by the authorities in relation to their abortion."
Abortion pills now available by mail in US -- but FDA is investigating
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Tue October 23, 2018
(CNN)Signaling a new chapter in the battle over abortion access in the United States, a European organization has stepped into the fray, providing Americans a way to get doctor-prescribed pills by mail to medically induce abortions at home.
Called Aid Access, the organization says it uses telemedicine, including online consultations, to facilitate services for healthy women who are less than nine weeks pregnant. If a woman completes the consultation and is deemed eligible for a medical abortion, the organization's founder writes a prescription for the two pills used to terminate the pregnancy, misoprostol and mifepristone. Prescriptions are then sent to a pharmacy in India, which fills and mails orders to the US.