USA: Special Delivery: Abortion Pills By Mail


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:

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


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


Continued at source: International Campaign for women's Right to Safe Abortion:

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


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:

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


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:

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


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:

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US: A New Online Service Aims to Help Women Self-Manage Abortion


A New Online Service Aims to Help Women Self-Manage Abortion
By Steph Herold
May 16, 2017

Since January, legislators have introduced 431 new restrictions on reproductive health care across the United States. Anti-abortion politicians are doing everything they can to make it as difficult as possible to obtain essential and legal health care, from forcing women to wait extra days for this time-sensitive procedure to imposing outrageous regulations on clinics. In an environment that's becoming increasingly hostile to science and facts, accurate medical information itself has become politicized. And that's where international advocacy group Women Help Women comes in: to provide people in this country with honest, compassionate guidance on how to self-manage their own abortions.

In April the organization launched the first-ever digital information service for medication abortion pills—Self-Managed Abortion: Safe and Supported, or SASS for short—that provides information and resources specifically about obtaining and using mifepristone and misoprostol, which the law usually requires are prescribed by a licensed health care professional.

Continued at source: Glamour Magazine:

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U.S.: This New Site Aims to Make It Safer to Have an Abortion at Home


This New Site Aims to Make It Safer to Have an Abortion at Home
"If we truly believe in women’s self-determination, they should also have a choice in how."

By Jill Filipovic
Apr 27, 2017

No one knows exactly how many women in the United States induce their own abortions every year, but we do know that, despite abortion being legal, a number of women take matters into their own hands. In the United States, women self-managing their own abortions — whether because they can’t access or afford a legal abortion in a clinic, because of feelings of fear or shame, or because they simply prefer the privacy of ending a pregnancy themselves — have long relied on word of mouth, Google, or their own instincts to figure out what to do and whether something has gone wrong.

That’s what Women Help Women wants to change. The organization just launched a new website that offers personalized information for women seeking to end early pregnancies with misoprostol, an abortion-inducing medication.

Continued at source: Cosmopolitan:

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New website offers US women help to perform their own abortions


New website offers US women help to perform their own abortions

With reproductive rights under threat, Women Help Women gives legal and medical advice to women who may be taking matters into their own hands

Molly Redden

Thursday 27 April 2017

Fearful that Donald Trump’s presidency poses a once-in-a-generation threat to US reproductive rights, an international advocacy group this week is unveiling what is sure to be a controversial response: a web portal dedicated to helping US women terminate their own pregnancies with abortion-inducing drugs they have obtained outside of a medical setting.

The project, launched by Women Help Women, is a nod to the fact that many US women may already be taking matters into their own hands as abortion options in this country contract.

Continued at source: The Guardian:

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U.S.: Group launches site to help women self-induce abortions at home, citing restrictive U.S. laws


Group launches site to help women self-induce abortions at home, citing restrictive U.S. laws

By Sandhya Somashekhar
April 27, 2017

An international advocacy group concerned about restrictive laws in the United States plans to help women use the abortion pill at home, offering online advice and counseling about how to use medications the Food and Drug Administration says should be taken only by prescription and under medical supervision.

Women Help Women, a three-year-old organization headquartered in the Netherlands, this week launched a website to provide one-on-one counseling services for women early in pregnancy who may have illegally obtained the pill on the Internet or through other means.

Continued at source: Washington Post:

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A threat to abortion pill access in Malaysia


A threat to abortion pill access in Malaysia
by Safe Abortion, Jan 31, 2017

A statement by the Minister of Health of Malaysia, in which he threatened investigation and prosecution of anyone selling or purchasing medical abortion pills online, was widely reported in the press.

In response, the Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia’s said: “We recognise the proliferation of many unethical sellers of medical abortion pills, but the proposed action by the Minister may also end up threatening the provision of genuine non-profit suppliers such as Women on Web, Women Help Women and Safe2Choose.

“Mifepristone has not been approved in Malaysia. But off-label use of misoprostol for medical abortion and for softening the cervix before manual vacuum aspiration abortion is common.

“Six months ago, the Ministry pressured Pfizer to stop supplying misoprostol in Malaysia, thus preventing abortion providers from using it. We are uncertain how effective  the Customs department will be, but we expect most of the supplies will still get through. But if a prosecution takes place, it will be a real threat to continuing access.”

The newspaper article, published on 16 January, was entitled: “Health Minister concerned over abortion pills”. The Minister, Datuk Seri S Subramaniam, is reported as saying that in Malaysia, these pills require a doctor’s prescription, and are for “specific purposes”. For internet sales domestically, he believed they could be detected and action taken against offenders. However, he is also quoted as saying that it is difficult to detect when orders are placed online for purchases from abroad. He said the Health Ministry was working with the Customs Department and police to detect packages containing such pills and also to establish whether the pills were being sold locally.

The article also states that misoprostol is easily available online and a common discussion topic in certain chatrooms, especially those related to “how to get a safe abortion”.

The Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia’s says: “The only logical and effective step to cut out the demand for online abortion pills… is to fast-track the approval and supply of both these medications to doctors so that they can be legally prescribed to clients after a proper assessment, as proposed by the Minister.”

SOURCES: E-mail, Dr SP Choong, Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM),

23 January 2017 ; Malaymailonline, by Murali Arumugam, 16 January 2017
Source, International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion:

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