Driven underground during the pandemic, online abortion providers say they’ll keep supplying pills and services even if the Supreme Court approves state bans.
By DARIUS TAHIR
The Supreme Court’s decision to review Mississippi’s stringent restrictions on abortion — putting Roe vs. Wade under its roughest stress test yet — is being seen as a call to action for the nation’s community of underground abortion activists.
And they make it clear they’re prepared to defy any laws banning abortion.
Through pandemic necessity, an ad-hoc, telehealth model for reproductive healthcare is sticking around.
By KYLIE CHEUNG
PUBLISHED JUNE 20, 2021
As much of the country prepares to return to some form of post-pandemic normalcy, reproductive health care providers and advocates hope we continue one vital pandemic tradition: telemedicine options for receiving and providing reproductive care from home.
Some researchers and providers have found offering medication abortion care via telehealth is crucial to bridging gaps in abortion access. Abortion medication care is safe and effective up to 10 weeks into one's pregnancy, and providers say that having a telehealth component to abortion care may even help establish greater medical trust and comfort for patients from marginalized communities seeking care.
The Repro Legal Defense Fund is a new initiative that will support people who are investigated, arrested, or prosecuted for self-managed abortions.
Jun 9, 2021
Rafa Kidvai, Rewire
Since 2000, dozens of people have been unjustly accused of a crime for ending
their own pregnancy—that is, self-managing abortion outside of a clinical
setting—or for helping a loved one do so. And those are just the cases we know
of to date.
As lawyers and advocates for reproductive justice who fight attacks on
self-managed abortion, we’ve tracked these unjust investigations, arrests, and
prosecutions across the United States, both in localities where self-managed
abortion is explicitly criminalized and in places where police and prosecutors
have manipulated laws to target people.
Thanks to new medications and innovative organizations committed to reproductive health and bodily self-determination, a reversal of Roe v. Wade would not send us back to the pre-Roe world of coat hangers and hospital wards full of deathly ill women.
by CARRIE N. BAKER, Ms. Magazine
The day after the Supreme Court announced they would hear the Mississippi abortion ban case, internet searches related to self-managed abortion surged across the United States—especially in states hostile to abortion rights. Online searches for terms related to abortion pills such as “misoprostol” and “medical abortion” exploded by more than 5,000 percent in the 24 hours after the court’s announcement.
“We see a definite spike in visitors to our website when there is news about abortion bans,” said Elisa Wells, co-founder and co-director of Plan C Pills, which provides up-to-date information on how to access abortion pills online. “People are looking for ways to access abortion pills. The need for abortion is never going to go away. When you cut off mainstream supply of it through clinical means, people will look for other ways to access the service.”
Even as abortion is restricted, telemedicine allows some women to end unwanted pregnancies using legal medications.
By Jane E. Brody
May 31, 2021
Abortion is once again a prominent source of controversy, restrictive legislation and, for many, great distress. A little background may help put this in perspective.
Fifty years ago last fall, after New York State adopted the most lenient abortion law in the country, many out-of-state women with unwanted pregnancies sought help from New York doctors.
The study looked at 57,500 who requested self-managed medication abortions.
By Alexandra Svokos
21 May 2021
The cost of care at clinics is a major factor driving patients to seek self-managed abortion through telemedicine, a new study published Friday found.
Aid Access, a nonprofit advocacy group founded by a Dutch doctor, helps individuals access abortion by arranging to mail mifepristone and misoprostol, the pills that make up a medication abortion, directly to people -- thus, they can have a self-managed abortion, meaning they take care of it outside a traditional medical setting. The study, published in the peer-reviewed JAMA Network Open, used data from the organization.
To be a transformational president, Biden has to fight loud and hard against the Republican assault on reproductive rights.
by Emily Crockett
May 10, 2021
Many progressives found themselves pleasantly surprised with Joe Biden after his first 100 days in office. He’s willing to go big, embrace the legacy of FDR and LBJ, and pass trillions in investments on party-line votes if Republicans don’t offer real solutions. In his first joint address to Congress last month, Biden laid out his agenda and made an unapologetic, empathetic case for big solutions to big crises: not just the pandemic and economic collapse, but also climate change, gun violence, systemic racism, immigration, and more. From the well of the House, Biden proudly advocated for just about every progressive reform that his administration supports. Yet he was silent on one major issue: the decimated state of access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion and the Republican Party’s continually escalating efforts to make it worse.
The FDA’s announcement that it will permit abortion medication to be sent by mail is a start—but advocates are hoping for more.
By Amy Littlefield
Apr 27, 2021
The Biden administration’s announcement this month that it would allow mifepristone to be sent by mail revolutionized access to abortion—in about half the country. Elsewhere, state laws requiring patients to meet with a provider in person preempt the new policy, underscoring just how much a person’s options depend on where they live.
“I think it’s great for states that it will impact,” Laurie Bertram Roberts, who cofounded the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund and now leads the Yellowhammer Fund in Alabama, said with a wry laugh. “Neither of the states that I work in are one of those.”
22 April 2021
On 18th March 2021, FIGO – in collaboration with the Centre for Reproductive Rights and Ipas – organised a discussion on ‘Access to medical abortion and self –managed abortion. Key insights from health workers and human rights advocates: on guaranteeing human rights’ with United Nations treaty monitoring committee members and Special Procedures mandate holders.
These elected UN experts have a responsibility to interpret human rights treaties, which includes monitoring states’ compliance with their legally binding human rights obligations and recommendations from UN experts. This includes reproductive rights and access to safe abortion. The UN experts do this by conducting fact-finding missions and issuing progress reports and statements, in addition to conducting review meetings with governments to assess their progress.
As some European countries rolled out ‘telemed’ abortion, others shut down access completely.
by Sarah Hurtes and Daniel Boffey
Wed 21 Apr 2021
Kay, 34, realised her period was late a month into Britain’s lockdown. The coronavirus death count was spiralling across the country. Covid-19 was putting the NHS under unprecedented strain and Boris Johnson had given the British people what he described as “a very simple instruction” in an address to the nation from Downing Street: “You must stay at home.”
A worrying, unsettling time, and Kay, a mother of a six-year-old girl, needed to get hold of a pregnancy test kit. She went online and, two days later, took delivery of the test, learning of a positive result via two pink lines. It was the news she had dreaded.