Sept. 20, 2021
By Ghazaleh Moayedi
It’s not brave for me to be an abortion provider in Texas. This is my home, too. I have a lot of support from my community. I work at several types of clinics here and in Oklahoma — independent ones, mostly. I went to medical school with the express intent to provide abortions in my home state.
We were shut down in Texas before, when Covid first hit the state in March of last year and Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order suspending “all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary.” At first, we weren’t sure how it was going to be interpreted. I spent that Monday calling all the patients I could, telling them to come in immediately to get an ultrasound in the event I would be able to at least give them pills the next day.
“We have weathered countless unnecessary restrictions before.”
September 9, 2021
Anna Rupani woke up last Wednesday to grim news: Texas, her home state, now banned abortion after six weeks of pregancy—effectively barring 95 percent of procedures. The night before, she’d waited anxiously for a last-minute Supreme Court injunction against the law. It didn’t come.
Rupani is a co-executive director of Fund Texas Choice, an Austin non-profit that assists those who travel for abortions. The organization came together in 2013 after the passage of Texas’s House Bill 2 , which led to the closure of over 40 abortion clinics. Like other abortion organizers, she’s spent recent weeks working “to make sure abortion access is a reality for every Texan, even if it’s not in Texas,” she says.
The science is clear: abortion by medication is safe and effective
By Kelly Cleland
on August 21, 2021
The pandemic has shown us that it’s time to change the way we get health care and that essential health care, including abortion, has always been out of reach for far too many. As we look ahead to the future of care, the science is clear: medication abortion care is safe and effective, and it’s past time to remove the restrictions on it. Now, actions from the FDA and new research show us that removing the restrictions on medication abortion care has the potential to expand access for many people who need care. The July 2021 special issue of the journal Contraception focuses on the restrictions on medication abortion, mifepristone, including its impacts on safety and efficacy, access to abortion, and burdens on patients and providers.
By Ian Kumamoto
Aug. 19, 2021
The pandemic has made nearly every aspect of our lives more difficult, so it’s cool to hear about any and every silver lining that’s come out of this so far. It appears that in some places — such as the U.K., where there was a policy change because of lockdown mandates — the pandemic actually made abortions more accessible for everyone. And if we can get our shit together here in the States, we might just be able to replicate their success (hopefully without the pandemic part).
Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin examined how, during lockdown in early 2020, doctors in the U.K. were allowed to prescribe two abortion pills via telemedicine appointments and send them straight to patients’ homes, the New York Times reported. Those pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, are generally taken up to 48 hours apart and work to terminate a pregnancy safely by blocking the body’s natural production of progesterone as well as causing cramping and bleeding, according to Planned Parenthood. They can be taken at home and are widely considered to be one of the safest ways to have an abortion.
Tuesday 17 August 2021
In 2020, the total number of abortions performed in the UK reached a record high of 210,860. Most of these – 47 per cent– were early abortions, carried out during the pandemic by women in their own homes, using pills posted to them after a teleconsultation with a doctor.
Prior to the pandemic, those seeking an early abortion could be forgiven for feeling that they were being made to jump through hoops.
August 10, 2021
Elizabeth Chloe Romanis, Jordan A. Parsons, Thomas Hampton
As a result of the pandemic, the governments in England, Scotland and Wales temporarily relaxed abortion rules in March 2020. This means that, in every part of the UK except for Northern Ireland, people early in pregnancy can to take abortion pills at home following a telephone consultation. But with COVID restrictions largely eased across the UK, there’s uncertainty over whether this will still be allowed.
Before the pandemic, for an early medical abortion to be legal in Great Britain people had to go to a clinic where they were given two drugs – mifepristone and misoprostol. The first pill had to be taken under supervision, while misoprostol was taken later at home.
CORRESPONDENCE| VOLUME 398, ISSUE 10299, P485, AUGUST 07, 2021
Céline Miani and Oliver Razum
Poland is rightly being criticised for suppressing abortion services.1 Since January, 2021, abortion is only legal if the pregnancy is directly life-threatening or the result of rape or incest. However, countries with allegedly more progressive policies have reasons to be self-critical as well.
An example is Germany, considered a liberal country in terms of abortion law from an international perspective, since women can be granted an abortion on request for any reason, including socioeconomic reasons. Yet, abortion in Germany is technically a crime (albeit not punished up to 12 weeks from conception), and gynaecologists are losing court cases for stating on their websites that they provide abortion care in a supportive environment.2 Attacks on abortion rights and services are nourished by vocal conservative and religious forces whose agendas find support in a non-negligible share of the population.
August 3, 2021
Hazal Atay, Women on Web International Foundation
The coronavirus pandemic changed the way people all over the world accessed abortions. As lockdowns and other restrictions made it difficult to seek in-person terminations of unwanted pregnancies, some countries made at-home abortions more accessible.
In France, the government temporarily changed
the law in April 2020 to allow at-home abortion until seven weeks of pregnancy
(or nine weeks since the last period). Teleconsultation abortions – where
abortion medication is taken at home in consultation with a medical
professional by phone or video call – are currently allowed until September
“Over the past year, we've seen states really target medication abortion in a way that we hadn't seen," Elizabeth Nash, of the Guttmacher Institute, said.
July 31, 2021
By Rebecca Shabad
WASHINGTON — The coronavirus had started to shut much of the country down in March 2020 when Larada Lee found out she was six weeks pregnant.
She wanted to end her pregnancy and decided that instead of a surgical abortion, she would use medication, a process she could complete at home. This, she thought, was her best chance of limiting her exposure to Covid-19.
MAI FLEMING , FAMILY PHYSICIAN
Mrs. K was a refugee who recently arrived in the U.S. to reunite with her husband and children. They arrived safely a few weeks ahead of her. On her initial refugee health exam, Mrs. K discovered she was six weeks pregnant. She had just arrived after escaping persecution in southeast Asia and faced the tremendous task of settling herself and her family in a new home. It was impossible for her to contemplate bringing another child into her family at the time. When Mrs. K came into the primary care clinic where I work seeking a medication abortion, I was happy to help her through the process.
In California, where my primary practice is located, any pregnancy-related care, including abortion care, is covered by Medicaid. Any person who is eligible for Medicaid and seeking an abortion for any reason can obtain the health care services they need without delay. That means access to an abortion as soon as someone decides, rather than having to delay for weeks to scrape together funds to pay out of pocket.