Blue-state doctors launch abortion pill pipeline into states with bans

by Caroline Kitchener, The Washington Post
July 23, 2023

The doctor starts each day with a list of addresses and a label maker.

Sitting in her basement in New York's Hudson Valley, next to her grown children's old bunk beds, she reviews the list of towns and cities she'll be mailing to that day: Baton Rouge, Tucson, Houston.

A month ago, a phone call was the only thing the doctor could offer to women in states with abortion bans who faced unexpected pregnancies. Hamstrung by the laws, she could only coach them through the process of taking abortion pills they received from overseas suppliers.


European group that mails abortion pills to the U.S. says it saw enormous surge in requests this month

A Dutch physician who runs the service, Aid Access, said orders have jumped since a judge imperiled access to mifepristone.

April 20, 2023
By Chantal Da Silva

A group in Europe that prescribes abortion pills to people in the U.S. online said it has seen a surge in requests since a federal judge in Texas issued a decision imperiling future access to mifepristone.

"We have seen an enormous ... increase in requests since the ruling in Texas," said Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch physician who runs the service called Aid Access. "People are extremely anxious."


This doctor says bans won’t stop her from getting abortion pills to women in the U.S.

APRIL 3, 2023

AMSTERDAM —  It was nearly three decades ago, as a young medical trainee in West Africa, that Rebecca Gomperts witnessed scenes that would set in motion her life’s work. Gruesome hemorrhages, perforated wombs, bloodied young women gasping out their lives: all the aftermath of botched illegal abortions.

“The methods — oh, how invasive they were,” the 57-year-old Dutch activist-physician said, shaking her head at the memory of stricken women staggering or being carried into the hospital. “Sticks. Bleach.”


Inside the Post-Roe Scramble to Count Abortions

The end of Roe reshaped abortion access across the U.S. What does it take to track those changes?

By Rebecca Grant
March 22, 2023

On May 2, 2022 at 8:32 p.m., when Politico published a leaked draft of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Jennifer Pepper was standing on Main Street in Disney World. Pepper is president and CEO of the Choices Center for Reproductive Health, a reproductive health clinic in Memphis, Tennessee, that began providing abortion care in 1974. She had traveled to Orlando to give a presentation at a conference and visited Disney World that evening to watch the fireworks. The air was warm and humid, the sun had just set, and Pepper was staring at Cinderella’s Castle when her phone erupted with messages and alerts.

“I remember kneeling down and feeling like I’d been gut punched,” Pepper said. “We knew it was going to happen, but seeing those words in black and white shattered any little bit of hope that maybe we had gotten it wrong.”


USA – Why accurate data on abortions matters — and why it’s so hard to collect

Jasmine Mithani
February 27, 2023

Collecting abortion data has always been difficult: People are often unwilling to share their experiences with researchers, and the United States has no centralized count of abortions performed. Every state collects data differently, and some refuse to share it with federal researchers due to privacy concerns. Sometimes researchers have to estimate abortion incidence based on historical trends because up-to-date data isn’t available.

It’s a challenge with broad implications for information on reproductive health, one that has been compounded by the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which allowed states to ban abortion. Less accurate abortion data means less information to share with policymakers about the impacts of restrictions — but also spills over into many areas of public health.


State abortion bans prove easy to evade

Aid Access, a Netherlands nonprofit, is prescribing more abortion medication in the U.S. than ever, in defiance of state laws.

People in states with abortion bans are risking legal repercussions to end their pregnancies.

Orders for abortion pills to telemedicine nonprofit Aid Access have increased in states that have imposed restrictions since the Supreme Court gave states permission to do so in June, according to data provided by Rebecca Gomperts, the Dutch physician who runs the group.


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.