A New Study on Medication Abortion Refutes the Arguments Conservatives Are Taking to the Supreme Court

A study of more than 6,000 medication abortions obtained through telehealth found 98 percent were effective and 99.8 percent were safe.

Feb 16, 2024

A key argument from anti-abortion activists bringing a case to the Supreme Court is that medication abortion—which accounts for more than half of all abortions nationwide, according to the Guttmacher Institute—is unsafe and ineffective.

A new study provides even more evidence that this is not true and that medication abortion is just as safe when it’s prescribed virtually as in person. Published Thursday in the journal Nature Medicine, the study examined more than 6,000 medication abortions that people from 20 states and Washington, D.C. obtained from three virtual clinics between April 2021 and January 2022. Researchers found that about 98 percent of them were effective in terminating pregnancies without any additional interventions and that 99.8 percent were safe and “not followed by serious adverse events.”

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2024/02/a-new-study-on-medication-abortion-refutes-the-arguments-conservatives-are-taking-to-the-supreme-court/

South Africa – Unsafe abortions continue to proliferate due to a lack of knowledge, stigma and nurses’ attitudes

Noxolo Majavu
28 Sep 2023

Despite safe medical abortion services being offered for free in public health facilities, the number of backdoor abortions being performed, especially on teenagers, is increasingly escalating as bogus doctors profit from the desperation of young women.

The scarcity of nurses and skill shortages, along with the lack of knowledge and the stigma around abortion, are among the reasons young people still opt for terminating pregnancies through illegal abortions at backdoor clinics.

Continued: https://www.news24.com/citypress/news/unsafe-abortions-continue-to-proliferate-due-to-a-lack-of-knowledge-stigma-and-nurses-attitudes-20230928

Misoprostol Alone Safely Ends Pregnancies After 10 Weeks, Study Suggests

Most women who took abortion drugs were successful even at later gestation periods, researchers reported. Many used only misoprostol, not the usual two-drug combination.

By Roni Caryn Rabin
July 6, 2023

An overwhelming majority of women were able to end unwanted pregnancies with abortion medications on their own and without additional medical procedures, even if they were well beyond the first trimester, according to a report published on Thursday.

The study was based on the experiences of 264 women who were nine to 16 weeks pregnant in Argentina, Nigeria and an unnamed country in Southeast Asia where abortion is illegal. Almost half of the women took only one drug, misoprostol, instead of the standard two-drug regimen, mifepristone and misoprostol.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/06/health/abortion-misoprostol.html

USA – People are using abortion medication later in their pregnancies. Here’s what that means.

The regimen is common and considered safe after 10 weeks, but the delays are cause for concern.

By Anna North 
Jun 18, 2023

A patient takes one medication, mifepristone, which stops the pregnancy from developing, followed one to two days later by another medication, misoprostol, which induces contractions that empty the uterus. The regimen, approved for abortions in the US since 2000, is effective and very safe, according to physicians and researchers, with a low incidence of serious side effects, and it’s the most common method of abortion in the US. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the first 70 days, or 10 weeks, of pregnancy, though the World Health Organization recommends medication abortion for up to 12 weeks.

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, however, nothing about abortion is simple anymore. With near-total abortion bans in place in more than a dozen states and gestational limits in several others, the procedure is growing harder to access by the day. Meanwhile, a federal court case is casting further doubt on the future of mifepristone’s availability in the US.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/23755658/abortion-pill-second-trimester-mifepristone-misoprostol

Asian Americans do not have access to abortion information, survey finds

Nearly half of respondents said they did not know where to access the medication if they needed it

Mary Yang
Wed 31 May 2023

Asian Americans do not have adequate access to information about how to obtain an abortion, according to a new report.

Cultural stigmas against conversations about sexual and reproductive health and a lack of in-language information on abortion has stifled knowledge of abortion care among Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, researchers found.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/31/asian-americans-access-to-abortion-information

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.”

Continued: https://undark.org/2023/03/22/inside-the-post-roe-scramble-to-count-abortions/

As Conservatives Try to Ban the Abortion Pill Mifepristone, New Research Shows Accessible Ulcer Drug Safely Ends Pregnancy Up to 12 Weeks

Mifepristone’s future is shaky—but women and pregnant people can still access misoprostol, a highly effective and medically safe method to end an early pregnancy.

by CARRIE N. BAKER, Ms. Magazine

Over half of clinician-supervised abortions in the U.S. in 2020 were done with a combination of two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. A Trump-appointed judge in Texas will soon decide a lawsuit brought by anti-abortion extremists asking him to force mifepristone off the market in all 50 states. If he does, as anticipated, reproductive rights advocates are ready to offer a safe and effective alternative to end pregnancy through three months: a higher dosage of misoprostol taken alone.

Misoprostol is a widely available ulcer medication that can induce a miscarriage by causing contractions of the uterus to expel a pregnancy. In the 1980s, Brazilian women began using misoprostol to end their pregnancies because abortion was unavailable through the medical system. Self-managed abortion with misoprostol resulted in precipitous declines in infection, hemorrhaging and death from unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2023/02/14/misoprostol-abortion/

USA – The Other Abortion Pill

In the U.S., medication abortion usually consists of two drugs. One of them has always mattered more.|

By Patrick Adams
SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

In the months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, demand for medication abortion has soared. The method already accounted for more than half of all abortions in the United States before the Court’s decision; now reproductive-rights activists and sites such as Plan C, which shares information about medication abortion by mail, are fielding an explosion in interest in abortion pills. As authorized by the FDA, medication abortion consists of two drugs. The first one, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for a pregnancy to continue. The second, misoprostol, brings on contractions of the uterus that expel its contents. The combination is, according to studies conducted in the U.S., somewhere between 95 percent and 99 percent effective in ending a pregnancy and is extremely safe.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2022/09/abortion-pill-misoprostol-effectiveness/671465/

Don’t Trust DIY Abortion Advice on TikTok. These are the risks involved.

By Julia Craven
May 23, 2022

Scouring the internet for answers on “how to have an abortion at home” will dredge up answers that read like school-bus gossip: Some, like douching with Coca-Cola or taking a lot of vitamin C, are unlikely to be life-threatening, but they’re also extremely unlikely to end your pregnancy.

Other methods are blatantly unsafe. They include inserting anything into the vagina, which poses a high risk of infection and sepsis; ingesting toxic substances such as turpentine, bleach, and other household chemicals; and any type of physical trauma, such as hitting oneself in the abdomen or throwing oneself down the stairs. “These are all things that people heartbreakingly try to do to end their pregnancies due to lack of access to clinical care, or lack of information or awareness of safer methods,” says Heidi Moseson, a senior research scientist at Ibis Reproductive Health.

Continued: https://www.thecut.com/article/diy-abortion-what-it-is-and-its-risks.html

What the U.S. Could Learn from Abortion Without Borders

A coalition across Europe is resisting Poland’s abortion ban. Its strategy could foreshadow activism in a post-Roe America.

Anna Louie Sussman, The New Yorker
May 17, 2022

Last month, an abortion-rights activist named Justyna Wydrzyńska stood in a courtroom in Warsaw, Poland, and described her abortion. Her lips were painted a defiant red; her voice cracked at times, but she was unapologetic. When she was thirty-three, she said, she was in an abusive marriage and learned that she was pregnant. She struggled to find accurate information online and had to order three packs of abortion pills—the first two, from the black market, were duds. She was terrified that she would bleed out or fall unconscious in front of her three children, who were too young to call an ambulance. Wydrzyńska, who is forty-seven, is now part of a coalition of activists called Abortion Without Borders. She was on trial for helping another Polish woman get an abortion.

Abortion was legal when Poland was under Communist control, but, in 1993, the predominantly Catholic country outlawed most abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, severe fetal conditions, and risk to the life of the patient. As the U.S. Supreme Court considers Roe v. Wade and giving states the ability to ban abortion, the diverse, international coalition of Abortion Without Borders may model an effective approach to abortion-rights activism in a post-Roe America—and also its risks.

Continued: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-the-us-could-learn-from-abortion-without-borders