In Supreme Court abortion case, the past could be the future

November 23, 2021
By Lawrence Hurley

OXFORD, Miss., Nov 23 (Reuters) - Just months before she was set to start law school in the summer of 1973, Barbara Phillips was shocked to learn she was pregnant.

Then 24, she wanted an abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court had legalized abortion nationwide months earlier with its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling recognizing a woman's constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. But abortions were not legally available at the time in Mississippi, where she lived in the small town of Port Gibson.


Mexican Abortion Activists Mobilize to Aid Texans

Podcast: 13:50 mins
With Dorothy Wickenden
November 22, 2021

Mexico is a deeply Catholic nation where abortion was, for a long time, criminalized in many states; just a few years ago, Coahuila, near the U.S. border, imposed jail time on women who underwent the procedure. But, this year, as Stephania Taladrid reported, Mexico’s ten-member Supreme Court voted unanimously to decriminalize abortion throughout the country—a decision that shocked even longtime activists. Before Mexican pro-choice advocates had finished celebrating, though, they turned their attention north to Texas, which has, with Senate Bill 8, essentially banned most abortions. (The law is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.) Texans may now find themselves crossing the border to obtain legal abortions. Taladrid spoke to activists who are sending medications that induce abortion—which are available over the counter in Mexico—across the border into Texas. As the legal scholar Jeannie Suk Gersen explains, however, a new Texas law criminalizes delivering those medications to pregnant women, potentially placing these activists at risk.


India – The Challenges Of Accessing Self-Managed Abortions During COVID-19

By Pragati Parihar
November 16, 2021

In the context of restrictions brought about by COVID-19 and Texas’ six-week abortion laws, the access to safe reproductive and sexual health choices has been brought back again to global focus. Apart from the traditional beliefs and legal norms concerning abortions, the different methods of abortion have also come to be an integral part of the discussion.

Self-managed abortions, also known as abortion by pills or medical abortions, is seen as one of the most effective ways to end an unintended pregnancy, even in countries with strict abortion laws. Self-managed abortions are defined as self-sourcing of abortion pills, outside of the clinical environment. It could be done from the comfort of one’s home or anywhere else that’s convenient to the abortion seeker.


More turn to abortion pills by mail, with legality uncertain

By John Hanna, Associated Press
Nov 13, 2021

TOPEKA, Kan. — Before her daughter’s birth, she spent weeks in bed. Another difficult pregnancy would be worse as she tried to care for her toddler.

Faced with that possibility, the 28-year-old Texas woman did what a growing number of people have considered: She had a friend in another state mail her the pills she needed to end her pregnancy. She took the pills, went to bed early and describes the experience as “calm” and “peaceful.”


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?


USA – What if You Had Abortion Pills in Your Medicine Cabinet?

Oct. 13, 2021
By Patrick Adams

In 2018, the Austria-based nonprofit Aid Access began offering Americans a new service: For the first time, pregnant people could obtain abortion pills by mail, with a prescription from a licensed physician, without ever visiting a clinic. For years, the group’s founder, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, had been doing similar work overseas. But as abortion rights were steadily eroded by Republican-controlled legislatures, Dr. Gomperts found herself inundated with requests from the United States and decided to act.

Three years later, American abortion rights are more threatened than ever, with the fate of Roe v. Wade resting on several Supreme Court justices appointed by Donald Trump. In response, Aid Access has introduced a service that offers a possible path forward for doctors adapting to the changing abortion landscape and reckoning with their role in gate-keeping a politically fraught drug: prescribing abortion pills in advance, to be kept on hand in the event of a future unwanted pregnancy.


Empowering women worldwide: A revolution in safe abortion care

28 September 2021
by Dr Manisha Kumar, head of MSF’s task force on safe abortion care

I became an abortion provider almost 10 years ago. Since then, I have helped countless people around the world access safe abortion care. I’ve also witnessed the devastating complications from unsafe abortion when people do not have access to this essential healthcare. Unsafe abortion is one of the main causes of maternal death and suffering worldwide, and the only one that is almost entirely preventable.

An abortion with pills is a game-changer. The simple regimen, taken over 24 hours, has the power to completely revolutionise access to safe abortion care, especially in low-resource and humanitarian settings, where MSF works. Used by millions of people for over 30 years, we have decades of research and experience showing how safe and effective abortion pills are.


How people are getting around the new Texas abortion law

Providers have seen a surge in interest in online purchases of abortion pills since the state's near-total ban went into effect.

Sept. 25, 2021 By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — K.T. Volkova got a positive pregnancy test just days before Texas' controversial law banning most abortions took effect.

The 23-year-old, who identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, was nearly six weeks pregnant and immediately knew they wanted an abortion. But Volkova was already on the cusp of the limit set by the new law, which bars in-clinic abortions after the detection of a fetal cardiac activity, or as early as six weeks.


Study shows an abortion ban may lead to a 21% increase in pregnancy-related deaths

September 22, 2021
Amanda Jean Stevenson, The Conversation

A new Texas law bans nearly all abortions, and other states have indicated that they likely will follow suit. But the research is clear that people who want abortions but are unable to get them can suffer a slew of negative consequences for their health and well-being.

As a researcher who measures the effects of contraception and abortion policy on people’s lives, I usually have to wait years for the data to roll in. But sometimes anticipating a policy’s effects before they happen can suggest ways to avoid its worst consequences.


Abortion pills are booming worldwide. Will their use grow in Texas?

By Samantha Schmidt  and Sammy Westfall
Sept 14, 2021

In the 1980s, women in Brazil began spreading the word about a pill used to treat ulcers. Sold over the counter, the drug carried a warning: Don’t use during pregnancy; risk of miscarriage.

It flew off the shelves. Hundreds of thousands of women, desperate for abortions in a country where the procedure was criminalized, now had an option.