USA: Self-Managed Abortion and Embodying the Principles of Reproductive Justice

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Self-Managed Abortion and Embodying the Principles of Reproductive Justice

Jan 12, 2018
Marlene G. Fried & Susan Yanow

Legal and policy barriers too often render the legal right to abortion meaningless, especially for those individuals and communities who are already the most vulnerable.

Worldwide, there is an enormous gap between having the legal right to abortion and being able to access one. This is painfully obvious in the United States. While abortion is legal, its opponents have successfully decreased access to services through restrictive laws; bans on Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance coverage; and violence directed at clinics and providers.

These strategies have successfully put abortion clinic services out of reach for many people. Their long-range goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade and re-criminalize abortion. In the meantime, legal and policy barriers too often render the legal right to abortion meaningless, especially for those individuals and communities who are already the most vulnerable.

Continued at source: https://rewire.news/article/2018/01/12/self-managed-abortion-embodying-principles-reproductive-justice/

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Peru: New study on abortion pill shows high success, low rate of complications

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New study on abortion pill shows high success, low rate of complications
by Ariana Eunjung Cha
January 11, 2018

Abortion is legally restricted in Peru, forcing women who want to end their pregnancies to seek other means. (Mariana Bazo/Reuters)

Ever since the abortion pill RU-486 began to hit the market in the 1980s, questions have lingered about its safety, especially for women who take it in countries where terminating an unwanted pregnancy is restricted and they cannot openly seek help from a medical professional if something goes wrong.

As reports of deaths and injuries grew in the early 2000s and the pill became a big political issue, studies were launched to try to get more data on the safety question. The results are starting to come out.

Continued at source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/01/11/new-study-on-abortion-pill-shows-high-success-low-rate-of-complications/

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Medical Abortion: A Special Edition of Contraception

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Medical Abortion: A Special Edition of Contraception
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Jan 5, 2018

This special edition is due to be published in final form in print and online in the February 2018 edition of Contraception. Meanwhile, the papers can all be accessed on the home page of the journal at: http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/content/contra-medical-abortion-special-issue in HTML and PDF formats. All but three are fully open access. The remaining three have been made openly available by the journal’s editor to complete the set, for which we are very grateful.

EDITORIAL: Medical abortion pills have the potential to change everything
– Marge Berer, Lesley Hoggart

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/medical-abortion-a-special-edition-of-contraception/

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How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground

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How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground
A year ago, mass protests in Poland defeated a new abortion ban. But the ruling party, supported by the church, continues to cut reproductive rights – leaving people at the mercy of the black market.

By Alex Cocotas
Thursday 30 November 2017

Barbara Nowacka first had an inkling that something exceptional was happening on the morning of the protests. It was October 2016, and a journalist she knew, a conservative, called to ask how it was looking. She told him she had no idea what was going to happen. The journalist told her that his two daughters had gone to school that morning dressed in black. Perhaps, Nowacka thought, this could be big.

A ban on abortion in Poland had been put forward in parliament six months earlier, and Nowacka, a leftwing politician and long-time social activist, was a leading figure in the movement to oppose it. Nationwide protests had been scheduled for 3 October, but like most people, she had little hope that they would succeed. Perhaps they would get a nice crowd, a little media coverage; but it would ultimately be a gesture. The law would pass.

continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/30/how-polands-far-right-government-is-pushing-abortion-underground

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Ireland: Websites to reveal how many women buy abortion pills

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Websites to reveal how many women buy abortion pills

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
November 11 2017

The health service is working with websites that sell abortion pills to find out how many Irish women are illegally terminating pregnancies.

Women on Web, a website that sells the pills to countries where abortion is restricted, has agreed to share data with the HSE. The health service is also approaching other abortion pill providers with a request to share information.

It is understood that the data will reveal only the number of women buying the drugs and no personal details.

Continued at source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/websites-to-reveal-how-many-women-buy-abortion-pills-6p9zx09rc

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USA: Special Delivery: Abortion Pills By Mail

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Special Delivery: Abortion Pills By Mail

BY Elisa Wells
Oct 10, 2017

When my mail carrier handed me the small brown envelope, I’m sure she had no idea she was handing me the means to have a safe, private abortion at home. I had ordered the pills a week and a half earlier off a somewhat sketchy website and, frankly, was wondering if they would ever appear. I say “sketchy” in that the offer seemed too good to be true — abortion pills for less than $200, no prescription needed. The “Whoa, trouble ahead!” warning from my McAfee security system certainly gave me pause, but by the time I received the fraud alert call from by credit card company (at the same time that Western Union was calling my other line to warn me) it was too late to turn back; I had already placed the order.

Continued at source: http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a12785967/over-the-counter-abortion-pill/

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WOMEN HELP WOMEN – Supporting Independent Use of Abortion Medicines: fighting stigma one email at a time

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WOMEN HELP WOMEN – Supporting Independent Use of Abortion Medicines: fighting stigma one email at a time

August 15, 2017
by Women Help Women

Although self-management of medical abortion presents enormous potential for the empowerment of women, the experience of individual women in countries where abortion is legally restricted often remains deeply stigmatized, despite the availability of safe abortion pills. It builds on other forms of discrimination and structural injustices. Ultimately, abortion stigma serves to marginalize an essential medical process, discredit those who would provide or procure it, and undermine those who advocate for its legality and accessibility.

A woman who manages her own abortion is committing a political act by refusing to submit to various oppressive systems, whether intending to or not. By taking control into her own hands, she is rejecting systems of law, local medical practice, societal norms, religious norms and sometimes deeply held personal beliefs.

False messages intended to frighten women off

> The pills are misused by women and cannot be self-managed.

> No woman should ever do this by herself because she will likely die or become infertile.

> This process should never be made so easy.

WHW works steadily to empower, destigmatize and provide support in each and every message and action. Any intervention on behalf of independent use in restrictive settings must engage fully in conversation. Each person deserves to feel heard, understood and respected. Stigma can feel overwhelming but can be addressed brick-by-brick in small but meaningful written exchanges. We emphasize that abortion is a common experience, and they are not alone. We offer reliable information on medical, legal and logistical aspects of accessing and safely taking abortion medicines, sharing research data, and the experiences of others. We talk about how safe self-management of abortion medicines is, but we encourage women to be close to the hospital if additional care is needed. After desperation, fear, shame and secrecy, women express relief and astonishment after the abortion is over, because they experienced no complications, and they feel healthy both physically and emotionally.

FULL TEXT:  English  / Español

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Continued at source: International Campaign for women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/women-help-women-supporting-independent-use-of-abortion-medicines/

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U.S.: In today’s movement toward home abortions, echoes of past cultural battles

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In today's movement toward home abortions, echoes of past cultural battles

'The cultural atmosphere [today is] way worse than the atmosphere that the underground service worked in during the ‘68 to ‘73 period,' says a former 'Jane,' who helped women obtain abortions before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.

Jessica Mendoza, Staff writer
July 5, 2017

Los Angeles — In the fall of 1970, a schoolteacher named Judith Arcana walked into a meeting held at a church a few blocks from her Chicago apartment. She emerged hours later a newly minted member of Jane, an underground collective that counseled women through – and later performed – thousands of illegal abortions between 1968 and 1973.

To Ms. Arcana, then 27, the idea of providing women with safe, dignified abortions dovetailed with her interest in reproductive justice and the burgeoning women’s liberation movement. “It seemed so right,” she recalls. “I was energized spiritually and politically, as well as intellectually.”

Continued at source: Christian Science Monitor: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2017/0705/In-today-s-movement-toward-home-abortions-echoes-of-past-cultural-battles

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U.S.: Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions

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Ending the Stigma and Prosecution of Self-Administered Abortions
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
By Katie Klabusich, Truthout | News Analysis

In just the first three months of this year, 431 abortion restrictions were introduced at the state level. Plus, 2017 has seen the confirmation of anti-choice Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule (an international policy that prohibits nongovernmental organizations across the globe that receive US family planning funds from advocating for or even discussing abortion). Add in the 338 state-level restrictions passed between 2010-2016, and it is increasingly clear that abortion access -- at least in the short term -- is slipping away in this country.

Continued: Truthout: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40814-ending-the-stigma-and-prosecution-of-self-administered-abortions

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Revolutionary Advances In Abortion Access: Why Not In The U.S., Too?

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Revolutionary Advances In Abortion Access: Why Not In The U.S., Too?
For more than 10 years, women around the world have had access to online abortion. It’s time for the U.S. to catch up.

Elisa Wells, Contributor Co-Founder and Co-Director Plan C
May 22, 2017

Last week’s publication of a study showing that the mail order abortion service Irish women have been using to get around Ireland’s draconian abortion restrictions is safe and effective has implications for women around the world, including in the United States. The study essentially documented what we already suspected — that women are perfectly capable of determining their pregnancy gestation, taking the pills, and seeking follow up care when needed. This is fantastic news, providing even more support to the idea that these pills are safe and effective enough to put directly in the hands of those who need them.

The study findings are not surprising given what we know about the safety and effectiveness of medication abortion based on years of use in clinical settings, but they are remarkable in that the service was provided completely remotely, with none of the usual ultrasounds or pelvic exams that are typically required. It also should come as no surprise that a previous study reported that women were very satisfied with having an abortion using the online service. It’s simple, convenient, private, safe, and effective. Of course they liked it!

Continued at source: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/revolutionary-advances-in-abortion-access-why-not_us_592324c7e4b07617ae4cbe5f?yeq

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