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Women Taking Abortion Pills on Their Own

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When an Idaho woman took a drug ordered over the Internet to end her unwanted pregnancy, she told a friend about her experience and was arrested and charged with the felony of illegal buy abortion pills in UAE.

When a woman in Mexico suspects that she may have gotten pregnant when she did not want to, she can purchase the drug at a pharmacy or an informal market and take it at home to make her period start.

Man Slipped Abortion Pills Into Ex's Drink | World News | Sky News

In both cases, the women used the drugs to cause a miscarriage. In both cases, it was done outside the formal health care system. And both were done safely, without any harmful health effects. But the Idaho woman did it in fear and uncertainty, not knowing what would happen and not believing that the drugs she was taking were safe and effective. And she went to jail. Where abortion is widely believed to be legal, abortion is so restricted in Mexico that it is banned altogether in some Mexican states.

The illogic and contradictions in these contrasting experiences are pushing reproductive health, rights and justice advocates in the U.S. to start important new conversations about women’s self-administered medication abortions.

Medication abortion or the use of pills to end a pregnancy.

A medication abortion is an abortion in which a drug or combination of drugs is taken to end a pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain combinations of mifepristone and misoprostol for use in medication abortions, and about 50 other countries around the world have approved their use.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines for safe buy abortion pills in UAE state that misoprostol alone can be used to cause miscarriage within 12 weeks after the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period. Although WHO does not recommend the use of misoprostol alone because it is less effective and has more side effects than mifepristone in combination, the guidelines note that “more widespread use of misoprostol has been reported to help reduce the complications of unsafe abortion in some cases” and that “in the absence of mifepristone, misoprostol appears to be common.

With its drug regulation expertise and experience, the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) played a leadership role in efforts to Since the FDA’s approval of mifepristone in 2000, women in the United States have been able to use the drug in clinics and in some Doctor’s offices perform medication abortions. (Misoprostol has been approved and has been used for other purposes in the United States since the late 1980s.) However, because of the politically controversial background of abortion in this country, FDA approval of mifepristone includes distribution restrictions that extensive research and decades of safe use have proven to be medically unnecessary. However, these restrictions remain in place, reducing American women’s access to medically induced abortions.

At the same time, women living in countries where abortion is highly restricted and drug distribution is less regulated (such as Mexico) have found that they have access to pills that can safely end their pregnancies, and they can take them at home without seeing a health care provider. As Francine Coeytaux of the Institute of Public Health and Leila Hessini of Ipas recently reported in a Reality Check on Reproductive Health, “The use of pills to end pregnancies without formal medical supervision has greatly increased access to safe abortion for many women, particularly poor, rural and young women who are chronically underserved. Women and it gives the woman control over the process.” 2 In most cases, women use only misoprostol, not mifepristone, resulting in miscarriage.

Evidence and information on self-administered abortions.

At a conference convened last fall by the Northwest Health Network and these authors, advocates and researchers discussed what we know, what we don’t know, about women’s self-administered abortifacients and what women in the United States can do to meet their need for safe abortions when clinical services are unavailable or inadequate.

Participating researchers provided more information on the broad approach to self-induced abortion, specifically self-administration of misoprostol, including.

-Studies have shown that when women take misoprostol for 9 weeks from the first day of their last menstrual period, 75-90% of women are able to completely end their pregnancies within 2 weeks.

– In the limited instances when medication does not completely end a pregnancy, follow-up treatment is often the same as that used for abortion management and is widely available in facilities across the U.S., even where abortion care is not available.

– Reasons women report having taken misoprostol, or attempting to end a pregnancy on their own by other means, include barriers to obtaining a clinic abortion – such as parental notification laws or the prohibition of insurance coverage of Apo.