Americans scramble for abortions in states that have banned it

New avenues are emerging, but logistical hassles are everywhere

July 11, 2022

Demand for pills that end pregnancy has skyrocketed in states that have restricted abortion since the Supreme Court decision last month, and abortion clinics are reporting a rush for appointments in towns bordering those states.

Aid Access, a virtual abortion clinic based in the Netherlands, saw a 256 percent increase in people coming to its site in the 24 hours after the court’s June 24 decision.


Medication Abortions Are Increasing: What They Are and Where Women Get Them

Most abortions overseas involve pills, and the method is used in about half of legal U.S. abortions. It also seems to be the future of illicit abortion.

By Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz
May 9, 2022

Taking pills to end a pregnancy accounts for a growing share of abortions in the United States, both legal and not. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade as expected, medication abortion will play a larger role, especially among women who lose access to abortion clinics.

What is medication abortion?
It’s a regimen of pills that women can take at home, a method increasingly used around the world.


Out of the Alley

How self-managed abortion looks today.

by Lux Alptraum and Erika Moen, The Nib
APRIL 4, 2022

This comic is not intended as medical advice and was not reviewed by a medical professional. Mifepristone and/or Misoprostol may not be safe and/or effective for all people. Please consult a medical professional prior to an abortion.


India – Is medication abortion an ‘existential threat’ to abortion restrictions?

Medication abortions are more available than ever. That could create a new opening for people to circumvent in-state abortion restrictions.

Shefali Luthra, Health Reporter
March 22, 2022

Abortion access is being pushed into uncharted territory. As Republican-led states pass an onslaught of new laws restricting access in anticipation of a weakened or overturned Roe v. Wade, the federal government has taken new steps to make medication abortion — the most common method of ending a pregnancy — more available than ever, including through the mail.

That puts into question whether and how people can get an abortion that might be illegal in the state they live, but legal elsewhere.


Most Women Denied Abortions by Texas Law Got Them Another Way

New data suggests overall abortions declined much less than previously known, because women traveled out of state or ordered pills online.

By Margot Sanger-Katz, Claire Cain Miller and Quoctrung Bui
March 6, 2022

The impact of the Texas abortion law was partly offset by trips to out-of-state clinics, and by abortion pills

In the months after Texas banned all but the earliest
abortions in September, the number of legal abortions in the state fell by
about half. But two new studies suggest the total number among Texas women fell
by far less — around 10 percent — because of large increases in the number of
Texans who traveled to a clinic in a nearby state or ordered abortion pills online.

Two groups of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin counted the
number of women using these alternative options. They found that while the
Texas law — which prohibits abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be
detected, or around six weeks — lowered the number of abortions, it did so much
more modestly than earlier measurements suggested.


Abortion pill use spikes in Texas as thousands of patients circumvent state’s ban

Orders for the drugs from an international nonprofit spiked 1,180 percent in the first week after the Texas law took effect in September.


Texans have been ordering abortion pills online at record rates in the wake of the state’s law banning the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy, according to a new study published Friday in JAMA Network Open.

Orders for the drugs from the international nonprofit Aid Access spiked 1,180 percent in the first week after the Texas law took effect in September, increasing from about 11 purchases per day to more than 137 per day. And though orders decreased over the next few months, researchers found that they remained 175 percent higher than before the Texas law took effect.


USA – Abortion Pills Are Very Safe and Effective, yet Government Rules Still Hinder Access

If the U.S. Supreme Court fails to uphold abortion rights this spring, more restrictions are likely

By Claudia Wallis | Scientific American
March 2022 Issue

Ever since it was approved in 2000 as an abortion pill, mifepristone has been regulated as if it were a dangerous substance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration required doctors to be specially certified to prescribe it. Patients had to sign an agreement confirming that they had been counseled on its risks. Most onerously, the pill had to be given in person in an approved clinical setting—even though a second drug used to complete the abortion, misoprostol, could be taken at home. In addition, 17 U.S. states have passed laws requiring an ultrasound scan before mifepristone can be prescribed. Yet decades of study have shown that the medication is safe and that those restrictions are needless, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical groups. The rules have more to do with politics and ideology than with science.


In Texas, anyone who mails abortion pills can now be sent to jail

The law, which went into effect last week, aims to curb self-managed abortions

Anne Branigin
December 7, 2021

Speaking at Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin in September, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) struck a jubilant — and defiant — tone.

Weeks after a near-total abortion ban went into effect in Texas, Abbott and other conservative lawmakers were there to herald another law intended to limit abortions. This time, they were taking aim at abortion pills.


What Does an At-Home Abortion Look Like in 2021?

The practice is often assumed to be dangerous, but Abigail Aiken’s data suggest that ordering abortion pills online, and inducing a miscarriage at home, is as safe as going to a clinic.

By Lizzie Widdicombe
November 11, 2021

It was the year 2000 in Derry, the second-largest city in Northern Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement had gone into effect two years earlier, bringing the Troubles to an end. The city seemed to be full of hope. But Abigail Aiken was full of dread. An academic star, she should have been focussed on the G.C.S.E.s, a set of exams that determine whether a sixteen-year-old in the U.K. will advance on a university track or end her education in high school. But as the exam date approached, Aiken’s mind kept wandering to something else: her period, which was more than a week late. Recently, her long-distance boyfriend had come to town for a weeklong visit, which had resulted in an unplanned romantic incident. Could she have gotten pregnant after her first time? That would be just her luck. She wanted to know, one way or the other, but this was Derry, a place where everyone knew everyone else’s business. What was she supposed to do, walk into the pharmacy and ask for a pregnancy test?


Texas abortion ban is an early glimpse of what post-Roe America would look like for women

By Katherine Dautrich, Isabelle Chapman, Majlie de Puy Kamp and Casey Tolan, CNN
Fri October 22, 2021 (CNN)

Nicole began her morning with a simple prayer: "Please let my car start today."

She had already gotten the mandatory ultrasound, scrounged up $595 and taken time off work. But at that moment -- with her pregnancy at exactly six weeks -- getting an abortion in her home state boiled down to her hatchback's temperamental engine turning over.