The activists championing DIY abortions for a post-Roe v Wade world

Forget back alleys and coat hangers. Self-managed abortions can be ‘safer than aspirin’, research says

by Poppy Noor
Sat 7 May 2022

Maggie Mayhem knows when she decided to
become a reproductive rights activist. At around 13 she discovered two conditions
in her southern California Catholic girls school’s manual:

If a student was found to have had an abortion, they would be expelled, because
abortion was against the teaching of the Catholic church. At the same time, the
school would not accommodate a student who became pregnant.


A covert network of activists is preparing for the end of Roe

What will the future of abortion in America look like?

By Jessica Bruder
APRIL 4, 2022

One bright afternoon in early January, on a beach in Southern California, a young woman spread what looked like a very strange picnic across an orange polka-dot towel: A mason jar. A rubber stopper with two holes. A syringe without a needle. A coil of aquarium tubing and a one-way valve. A plastic speculum. Several individually wrapped sterile cannulas—thin tubes designed to be inserted into the body—which resembled long soda straws. And, finally, a three-dimensional scale model of the female reproductive system.

The two of us were sitting on the sand. The woman, whom I’ll call Ellie, had suggested that we meet at the beach; she had recently recovered from COVID-19, and proposed the open-air setting for my safety. She also didn’t want to risk revealing where she lives—and asked me to withhold her name—because of concerns about harassment or violence from anti-abortion extremists.


Criminal convictions for abortion, miscarriage? Texas abortion ban previews life without Roe v. Wade

Defense attorneys say there’s a history of criminal convictions over abortion, miscarriage and stillbirth that will only be exacerbated if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Barbara Rodriguez
September 2, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week not to block a Texas law that bans most abortions  raises questions about the future of Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling guaranteeing the right to an abortion. And it worries criminal defense attorneys, who have been sounding the alarm on the legal ramifications of restricting reproductive rights.

Their warning: If the 1973 ruling is overturned, far more people will face criminal charges, including pregnant people seeking abortions and those who help them access them — even people who inadvertently end a pregnancy.


USA – Purvi Patel and the case of the self-managed abortion

Prosecutors—with the help of doctors and nurses—are punishing pregnant people using laws intended to help them.

Feb 8, 2021
Imani Gandy

Purvi Patel was suffering from heavy vaginal bleeding when she walked into the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Indiana. She insisted that the bleeding was not the result of pregnancy. After the doctors persisted, however, she admitted that she’d had a miscarriage, and, not knowing what to do, had placed the remains in a dumpster.

What came next is a cautionary tale about what can happen to Black and brown women when they face bias and betrayal by health-care workers who are supposed to help them, and the ways in which hospitals, which are supposed to be places of healing, can become carceral.

New York Woman Faces Up to Eight Years Behind Bars for Selling Abortion Pills Online

New York Woman Faces Up to Eight Years Behind Bars for Selling Abortion Pills Online
In February, FDA agents showed up at Ursula Wing’s door with an arrest warrant and seized her computer and phones, her daughter’s iPad, boxes of medication abortion pills, and a dozen packages that she was set to mail.

Aug 9, 2019
Imani Gandy

A New York City woman who sold medication abortion pills to more than 2,000 people over two years has been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. If convicted, she could face up to eight years in prison.

In 2012, the woman, Ursula Wing, posted on her blog the Macrobiotic Stoner about her experience terminating her pregnancy using pills that she had bought online. Four years later, she found herself running a business providing medication abortion pills to customers who needed them, including a teenager who was afraid to tell her parents that she was pregnant, and a woman who hid her abortion from her abusive partner.


USA – Leana Wen: My miscarriage has made my commitment to women’s health even stronger

Leana Wen: My miscarriage has made my commitment to women’s health even stronger

By Leana S. Wen
July 6, 2019
Leana S. Wen is an emergency physician and the president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The turkey sandwich I always had for lunch tasted different. My colleague’s perfume was suddenly overpowering. I could hardly keep awake; when I slept, I had leg cramps and vivid dreams.

I knew before I took the test: I was pregnant.


Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground

Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground
Code names, top-secret training, and a movement of women determined to avoid the medical establishment.

Nina Liss-Schultz
Mother Jones, March/April 2018 Issue

On a summer day in 2015, Renata and more than a dozen women, all strangers from different parts of the country, sat in a semicircle on the living-room floor of a house, deep in the rural South. A lean twentysomething with a wide smile and olive skin, Renata was the only nonwhite person in the group. And she felt conspicuous in other ways too—many of the women struck her as kind of “new agey,” and some had been involved in a “crystal energetics” midwifery program. All of them had big red binders full of worksheets and documents related to the topic at hand: how to help women self-induce an abortion. “My initial thought,” she recalls, “is, ‘What the fuck did I get myself into?'”

Renata had come from Arizona to attend the weeklong training. She learned how, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, white male doctors consolidated their professional power in part by sidelining female and often nonwhite midwives and other community healers. She learned which drugs and herbs induce a miscarriage and where to buy the small, plastic, strawlike instrument that is inserted into the uterus and suctions out an unwanted pregnancy. If problems arise, what should one say to avoid scrutiny at the emergency room? In which states is self-induced abortion, and helping women self-induce, a crime?


Does it Matter if Abortion Is Legal?

Does it Matter if Abortion Is Legal?
A new book warns that even with Roe v. Wade intact, the procedure is still effectively banned in some places.

By Rebecca Grant
November 8, 2017

In 2013, 22-year old Beatriz Garcia found herself in the middle of the global abortion debate, a symbol and a lightning rod for what happens when a woman who lives in a country with a total abortion ban faces a life-threatening pregnancy.
Michelle Oberman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, opens her new book Her Body, Our Laws: On the Front Lines of the Abortion Wars, From El Salvador to Oklahoma, with Beatriz’s story. The case gives grounding to this ambitious book, which looks at the effects of abortion restrictions in Latin America and the United States. Oberman has spent her career studying the murky ethical waters of pregnancy and motherhood. She’s done research about pregnant women who abuse drugs and written two books about mothers who have killed their children. Her mission with this book is not to argue whether or not abortion should be legal, but to interrogate the impact of laws that restrict it.

Continued at source:

U.S.: The Activists Fighting to Legalize DIY Abortions

by Kimberly Lawson
Dec 9 2016, Broadly

As reproductive healthcare becomes increasingly inaccessible in America, more and more women are taking matters into their own hands—and some activists think they should be allowed to do so free of punishment.

In 2012, Jennifer Whalen discovered that her 16-year-old daughter was pregnant. She promised to support her in whatever decision she made, and after a few days, the high schooler decided she couldn't have a baby. From there, Whalen and her daughter began investigating how to obtain an abortion in their rural town of Washingtonville, Pennsylvania.

They discovered that the nearest clinic was 75 miles away, and the procedure alone would cost between $300 and $600—two huge barriers, especially given the fact that the family had only one car. After searching online for another solution, Whalen stumbled upon a website selling misoprostol and mifepristone—the FDA-approved regimen for a medication abortion—for $45. She purchased the pills.

[continued at link]
Source: Broadly