Let’s Talk About Misoprostol—the Original Abortion Pill

7/28/2022
by CAITLIN GERDTS, RUVANI JAYAWEERA and CARRIE N. BAKER
The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has paved the way for more than half of U.S. states to outlaw abortion. As we look to the future of abortion in the U.S., we can learn from the experiences of people in countries with restrictive abortion laws who have managed to find safe, effective ways to have abortions by using the original abortion pill: misoprostol.

In the 1980s, Brazilians discovered that an ulcer medication, misoprostol, could induce a miscarriage by causing contractions of the uterus to expel a pregnancy. Across Latin America, women and other people who can become pregnant began to use misoprostol to manage their own abortions. Infection, hemorrhaging and death from unsafe abortion declined precipitously.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2022/07/28/misoprostol-abortion-pill/


USA – Self-induced abortions can raise medical — and legal — questions for doctors

July 7, 2022
Sarah McCammon

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As abortion becomes more difficult — or impossible — to access in many states, some patients are buying pills online and managing the process on their own. That can create new questions for healthcare providers about how to protect their patients – and themselves – if questions or complications arise.

Unlike in years before Roe v. Wade in 1973, when women sometimes died from seeking unsafe and illegal abortions, Dr. Nisha Verma says patients now have more options.

https://www.npr.org/2022/07/07/1110165323/self-induced-abortions-can-raise-medical-and-legal-questions-for-doctors


USA – The Coming Rise of Abortion as a Crime

In places where abortion is now illegal, a range of pregnancy losses could be subject to state scrutiny.
By Melissa Jeltsen
JULY 1, 2022

Before last week, women attempting to have their pregnancies terminated in states hostile to abortion rights already faced a litany of obstacles: lengthy drives, waiting periods, mandated counseling, throngs of volatile protesters. Now they face a new reality. Although much is still unknown about how abortion bans will be enforced, we have arrived at a time when abortions—and even other pregnancy losses—might be investigated as potential crimes. In many states across post-Roe America, expect to see women treated like criminals.

On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending abortion as a constitutional right. Nearly half of U.S. states either are in the process of implementing trigger bans—which were set up to outlaw abortions quickly after Roe was overturned—or seem likely to soon severely curtail abortion access. Reproductive-rights experts told me that in the near future, they expect to see more criminal investigations and arrests of women who induce their own abortions, as well as those who lose pregnancies through miscarriage and stillbirth.

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2022/07/roe-illegal-abortions-pregnancy-termination-state-crime/661420/


USA – Should you keep abortion pills at home, just in case?

With Roe on the brink, more experts are talking about advance provision of mifepristone and misoprostol.

By Rachel M. Cohen
Jun 22, 2022

Medication abortion, or taking a combination of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, is an increasingly common method for ending pregnancies in the United States. Reasons vary and overlap: Some women lack access to in-person abortion clinics; others prefer to end pregnancies in the comfort of their own home. Others seek out the pills because they cost far less than surgical abortion.

With more in-person clinics shuttering and a Supreme Court that’s threatening to overturn Roe v. Wade, a small but growing number of reproductive experts have been encouraging discussion of an idea called “advance provision” — or, more colloquially, stocking up on abortion pills in case one needs them later.

https://www.vox.com/2022/6/22/23170229/abortion-roe-medication-pills-pregnancy-unplanned


How Mexico ensures access to safe abortion without legalizing it

No outcomes of pregnancy are a crime in Mexico

By Annalisa Merelli
Published June 6, 2022

When it comes to abortion, Mexico offers a glimpse of a possible future
for the US.

Like its northern neighbor, the country is a federal republic of 32 states in
which the legality of abortion varies. It does not have a federal law, or Roe v
Wade-like constitutional decision legalizing abortion—a position the US is
likely to find itself in by the end of June, when the Supreme Court is expected
to officially announce its decision on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health
Organization. The decision, a draft of which was leaked last month, might
overturn the precedent stating that a woman has a right to obtain abortion as
part of her right to privacy. If the leak is confirmed, it would end the
federal protection of abortion, and making its legality dependent on the
individual state.

Continued: https://qz.com/2172871/how-decriminalization-of-abortion-in-mexico-expanded-access/


Lizelle Herrera’s case highlights the misunderstood realities of abortion access, criminalization, and advocacy in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley

Cross-movement collaboration at the intersections of criminal and reproductive justice helped local organizers mobilize quickly

by Tina Vásquez
April 21st, 2022

On April 8, a small news outlet covering Texas’ Rio Grande Valley published a story that sent shockwaves through the reproductive justice movement. A woman named Lizelle Herrera was arrested April 7 by the Starr County Sheriff’s Office and charged with murder for allegedly having a self-induced abortion, which is when a person chooses to perform their own abortion outside of a medical setting. According to her indictment, Herrera “intentionally and knowingly” caused “the death of an individual.” She was held at the Starr County Jail, and her bond was set at $500,000.

In the days since Herrera’s story was made public, there has been a great deal of reporting about whether her criminalization was simply “a hasty error” by a district attorney or a case that should be treated as “a warning” that “foreshadows [a] post-Roe future.” But for reproductive justice advocates in Texas who are forced to navigate some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, Herrera’s case isn’t merely a sign of what’s to come; it’s a reality that low-income women of color overwhelmingly shoulder. It’s also the inevitable result of complicated, convoluted anti-abortion laws.

Continued: https://prismreports.org/2022/04/21/realities-navigating-texas-anti-abortion-laws/


Anti-abortion protests in Scotland following ‘Texas playbook’ as national plan on buffer zones needed

As anti-abortion protests swell outside my city’s flagship hospital, I and many others fear Scotland is turning into a hostile place for women accessing healthcare.

By Hannah
Brown
Saturday, 16th April 2022

Across the pond, prosecutors dropped murder charges last week against a
26-year-old southern Texas woman over an alleged “self-induced abortion".

After time in prison, Texas lawyers found she had not committed a crime. This
woman’s case is an example of the lengths the red states are willing to go to
restrict abortion access.

Continued: https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/anti-abortion-protests-in-scotland-following-texas-playbook-as-national-plan-on-buffer-zones-needed-3656433


A call, a text, an apology: How an abortion arrest shook up a Texas town

The arrest and since-dropped murder charge against a 26-year-old woman stoked widespread outrage and confusion.

By Caroline Kitchener, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites
April 13, 2022

Calixtro Villarreal’s phone rang Saturday afternoon, about 48 hours after his client, Lizelle Herrera, was arrested and charged with murder — over what local authorities alleged was a “self-induced abortion.”

It was Gocha Ramirez, the district attorney in Starr County, Tex., a remote area on the border with Mexico. Herrera should never have been charged, Ramirez told the lawyer, according to a person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private interactions.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/04/13/texas-abortion-arrest/


The Texas woman arrested for an abortion is a harbinger of what’s to come

By Paul Waldman, Columnist, Washington Post
April 11, 2022

Can you picture a United States where women who get abortions — which about a quarter of women will do at some point in their lives — are routinely arrested and imprisoned for murder? Not just one here or there, but by the hundreds or thousands?

I can’t help but wonder if whichever local law enforcement official who ordered a 26-year-old Texas woman be arrested and charged with murder after a “self-induced abortion” was getting ahead of themselves, thinking that day had already come. The district attorney will be dismissing the charges, since, for now, Texas law doesn’t allow for the prosecution of women for having an abortion, self-induced or otherwise.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/11/texas-woman-arrested-abortion/


Why was a woman in Texas arrested for an abortion?

BY JESSICA MONTOYA COGGINS, Texas Signal
APR 11, 2022

As news spread over the arrest of 26-year-old Lizelle Herrera in Starr County, there was immediate outrage and action over somebody being detained for an alleged self-induced abortion. Now that the District Attorney of Starr County filed a motion to drop those charges, one major question remains: how did this happen?

Last week, The Monitor News reported that Herrera had been arrested by the Starr County sheriff’s office for murder after an abortion that occurred in January. The sheriff’s office was alerted about Herrera from an individual at a hospital where she was receiving care. Herrera was being held on $500,000 bail.

Continued: https://texassignal.com/why-was-a-woman-in-texas-arrested-for-an-abortion/