The Pandemic Means More People May Be Giving Themselves Abortions
But the abortion pill sites people rely on are in jeopardy.
by Marie Solis
Apr 8 2020
The first time H* needed an abortion, she drove about two hours to the nearest clinic and back, waited 48 hours—the required waiting period for anyone in Tennessee seeking an abortion—then went back and paid more than $700 for the procedure. That’s not counting gas money for eight hours of driving, or the wages she lost when she took time off from her hourly job for the appointment.
In March, she learned she was pregnant again, and found herself confronting many of the same barriers to getting an abortion: The clinic was still far away, the procedure was still costly, and she would still have to take off a day or two to account for the waiting period and the drives to and from the clinic.
There’s nothing pro-life about exploiting a pandemic to further a political agenda
It’s already apparent a small minority of zealots will do everything they can to use the coronavirus crisis to eradicate the right to an abortion
Sat 4 Apr 2020
Coronavirus is an unprecedented public health crisis. But, for some Republicans, it’s also a political opportunity: anti-abortion activists are ruthlessly using the pandemic as an excuse to crack down on reproductive rights. Six conservative states – Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas – have categorized abortions as non-essential, except in very limited cases, effectively banning access to the procedure during the pandemic.
Federal judges have stopped the bans from going into effect in most of these states. However, on Tuesday an appeals court ruled that Texas could reinstate its abortion ban. On the same day women were told that their reproductive rights were considered dispensable, Texas’s Governor Greg Abbott declared that religious services were “essential” and in-person gatherings could continue during the pandemic. This is despite the fact that there have been multiple cases of coronavirus spreading in places of worship, with people dying as a result.
The Radical Future of Self-Managed Abortion Is Already Here
“I remember one woman who arrived and asked, ‘Is this the clinic?’ And we were like, ‘What clinic?’”
By Amy Littlefield and Laura Gottesdiener
March 4, 2020
Lizy and the woman who helped her to end her pregnancy met at a Starbucks in León, the largest city in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. Then a 20-year-old social-work student with curly hair and a heart-shaped face, Lizy, which is a nickname we’ve used to help protect her identity, felt nervous about discussing her pregnancy in such a public place. She was afraid she could be jailed for even considering an abortion, which is a crime in most cases in the heavily Catholic and conservative state. Enrolled in an exchange program in a city where she knew few people, she had no way to make the hours-long trip to Mexico City, the only place where abortion was legal at the time. She and her partner felt hopeless. “We were dying from fear, really, we were two frightened children,” she said later, seated in a park in her home city of Guadalajara. Finally, she had confided in a professor who told her about Rosalía.
Activists Are Now Teaching Women How to Have Abortions at Home
“So long as we have a safe option that can be accomplished outside of a clinical or medical setting, there’s no reason that shouldn’t also be available.”
by Carter Sherman
Jan 22 2020
COLUMBIA, Missouri — In the Columbia Public Library, just past a room where a Bible study was wrapping up, a group of people gathered in a conference room to learn how to have an abortion at home.
What happens when you self-induce an abortion? one woman asked the panelists, who sat at a table in the front of the room.
DIY abortion attempts three times as prevalent in Texas as other states, study finds
Jan. 9, 2020
AUSTIN — Using home remedies such as herbs, teas and vitamins or a prescription drug obtained from Mexico, Texas women have tried to end their pregnancies themselves three times more often than women in other states, a new study finds.
The Texas Policy Evaluation Project at The University of Texas at Austin found 6.9 percent percent of 721 patients seeking abortion tried to end their pregnancies on their own before going to an abortion clinic, compared to 2.2 percent nationally. The results of the study were released Thursday morning.
D.I.Y. – Self-Managed Abortion
Conscience Magazine, 2019 issue 2, Abortion
By Susan Yanow, Joanna Erdman and Kinga Jelinska
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The advent of abortion pills as a health technology has deep personal and political consequences for how, when and where abortions happen. The “discovery” of abortion pills occurred in the 1980s in Brazil, when women noticed that the label for misoprostol, a drug registered to treat gastric ulcers, cautioned against its use by pregnant women because the drug caused uterine cramping. Use of misoprostol alone to end unwanted pregnancy spread quickly in Brazil and across Latin America outside the formal health system, as abortion is criminalized in most of the region. 1
The use of pills for abortion entered formal healthcare systems when the French pharmaceutical company Roussel-Uclaf developed mifepristone for use with a prostaglandin like misoprostol to end a pregnancy (with higher effectiveness than misoprostol alone, although the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes both misoprostol alone and the combination mifepristone/misoprostol as highly safe and effective).2
Almost 40 Percent of Abortions Are Now Done With Pills
Experts say the number would be even higher if the FDA loosened its restrictions on medication abortion.
by Marie Solis
Sep 19 2019
While the overall abortion rate in the U.S. has hit a record low since the procedure was legalized in 1973 under Roe v. Wade, the rate of people choosing medication abortion to end pregnancies is on the rise, according to new findings from Guttmacher Institute.
Medication abortion is a method of abortion that involves taking the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to induce what is effectively a miscarriage. The method became available in the United States in 2000, when the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, and has dramatically increased in use since: Whereas in 2004, medication abortions made up just 14 percent of all abortions in the U.S., by 2015 that number rose to almost 25 percent. Now Guttmacher reports that the share of medication abortions in 2017 was 39 percent of the total, or almost two in five.
With Abortion Restrictions On The Rise, Some Women Induce Their Own
September 19, 2019
When Arlen found out she was pregnant this year, she was still finishing college and knew she didn't want a child.
There's a clinic near her home, but Arlen faced other obstacles to getting an abortion.
"I started researching about prices, and I was like, 'Well, I don't have $500,' " said Arlen, who is in her 20s and lives in El Paso, Texas. We're not using her full name to protect her privacy.
Study: 8% of Texas Women Self-Induced Their Abortions
Thursday September 05, 2019
As many as 8% of Texas women may have self-managed their abortions, according to a new study published in BMC Women’s Health. The study suggests that women may already be pursuing less safe abortions in the wake of increasing abortion restrictions.
Texas Women Are Inducing Their Own Abortions
The authors of the study hypothesized that women might not report self-induced abortions, and that official data on the topic might underestimate the numbers. So they administered surveys to 790 Texas women of reproductive age in 2015. The surveys asked about various health experiences. Self-managed abortion was included in half of the surveys.
Activist Rebecca Gomperts Is Reshaping Last-Ditch Abortion Care
by Greta Moran
Published on July 9, 2019
Abortions are as inevitable as the sun rising. Every year, around 56 million people around the world induce their own abortions, but this doesn’t need to come in the form of a “back-alley” abortion. Dutch activist and doctor Rebecca Gomperts has made it her life’s work to ensure the abortion pill is accessible—even in places where it is outlawed. She describes her work as a form of harm reduction: using medication to induce abortion is the safest alternative to fully legal abortion. So making this method available (and raising awareness of it) mitigates the consequences of harsh laws that criminalize or limit access to abortion. Gompert’s work reduces the potential of self-induced abortion causing harm or a person having to unwillingly carry a pregnancy to term.