Meet the women across Europe who are resisting threats, both old and new, to reproductive rights in Poland.
28 September 2020
“It was the most incredible, amazing experience of my life,” the veteran women’s rights activist Mara Clarke told me. “It was totally insane. But also really wonderful. And proof that sisters and siblings can get shit done when they want to.”
In December 2019, three months before coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, a group of women from across Europe launched a bold, feminist response to Poland’s draconian anti-abortion laws: Abortion Without Borders.
How to Make Abortion Great Again
Poland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the European Union, and in practice, it's all but banned. But four women, nicknamed the "Abortion Dream Team," are pushing back, holding workshops around the country teaching women how to obtain and self-manage a medical abortion. With Roe v. Wade at risk of being overturned in the U.S., is their story a cautionary tale, or a possible roadmap for American women?
By Anna Louie Sussman
Nov 4, 2019
On a rainy day in May, in the Polish coastal city of Gdańsk, in a high-ceilinged room on the second floor of an unremarkable building, 16 women and five men sat in mismatched office chairs around a long table, waiting to learn how to administer a medical abortion. Before the workshop began in earnest, one of the speakers, Karolina Więckiewicz, turned to a bald, bearded man on her left, whose papers spread out in front of him suggested he might be from a prosecutor’s office, and asked him to stop recording.
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
Self-managed Abortion Highlights Need to Decriminalize Abortion Worldwide
Most of the world's decades-old abortion laws don't reflect the advent of the abortion pill, and they permit the punishment of people who end their own pregnancies and nonmedical providers.
Nov 12, 2018
Patty Skuster, Kinga Jelinska & Susan Yanow
In countries with a range of laws regulating abortion, there is growing evidence that people are safely self-managing their abortions outside a clinical context—sourcing and using misoprostol alone or in combination with mifepristone, on their own and with the help of family and friends, or with community-based support.
Recognizing the potential of abortion pills to expand access to safe abortion, feminist collectives across the world have mobilized to create reliable resources about self-managed abortion. Activists run telephone hotlines, email help desks, and groups to provide information about self-management. Women often obtain the medicines through online services, community distribution networks, or pharmacies.
Medical Abortion: A Special Edition of Contraception
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Jan 5, 2018
This special edition is due to be published in final form in print and online in the February 2018 edition of Contraception. Meanwhile, the papers can all be accessed on the home page of the journal at: http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/content/contra-medical-abortion-special-issue in HTML and PDF formats. All but three are fully open access. The remaining three have been made openly available by the journal’s editor to complete the set, for which we are very grateful.
EDITORIAL: Medical abortion pills have the potential to change everything
– Marge Berer, Lesley Hoggart
Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/medical-abortion-a-special-edition-of-contraception/
A New Online Service Aims to Help Women Self-Manage Abortion
By Steph Herold
May 16, 2017
Since January, legislators have introduced 431 new restrictions on reproductive health care across the United States. Anti-abortion politicians are doing everything they can to make it as difficult as possible to obtain essential and legal health care, from forcing women to wait extra days for this time-sensitive procedure to imposing outrageous regulations on clinics. In an environment that's becoming increasingly hostile to science and facts, accurate medical information itself has become politicized. And that's where international advocacy group Women Help Women comes in: to provide people in this country with honest, compassionate guidance on how to self-manage their own abortions.
In April the organization launched the first-ever digital information service for medication abortion pills—Self-Managed Abortion: Safe and Supported, or SASS for short—that provides information and resources specifically about obtaining and using mifepristone and misoprostol, which the law usually requires are prescribed by a licensed health care professional.
Continued at source: Glamour Magazine: http://www.glamour.com/story/women-help-women-self-managed-abortion-america
Group launches site to help women self-induce abortions at home, citing restrictive U.S. laws
By Sandhya Somashekhar
April 27, 2017
An international advocacy group concerned about restrictive laws in the United States plans to help women use the abortion pill at home, offering online advice and counseling about how to use medications the Food and Drug Administration says should be taken only by prescription and under medical supervision.
Women Help Women, a three-year-old organization headquartered in the Netherlands, this week launched a website to provide one-on-one counseling services for women early in pregnancy who may have illegally obtained the pill on the Internet or through other means.
Continued at source: Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/website-aims-to-help-women-self-induce-abortions-using-drugs/2017/04/26/119a1ba8-29c4-11e7-be51-b3fc6ff7faee_story.html
1 September 2016
A confidential telephone helpline for women who have used abortion pills bought online is launching today.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has set up the free service to provide aftercare for women living in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. Access to abortion services is severely restricted in these regions and thousands of women are forced to travel to England each year to undergo terminations. Those who are unable to do so, often for financial reasons, resort to ordering illegal abortion medication on the internet for as little as £50.
In England, Scotland and Wales, women can access abortions – either via pills or a surgical procedure - through NHS services and clinics.
[continued at link]
Source: The Telegraph