Right to choose

Women turn to at-home abortion remedies as states restrict access

A rally outside of an abortion clinic in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jana Birchum/Getty Images)

American women faced with new restrictions on accessing safe abortion services are turning to online and at-home remedies to end their pregnancies, according to The Guardian. More than 300 new laws restricting abortion have been passed in 38 states over the past six years in a wave of national anti-abortion activism. Many women, including as many as 100,000 to 240,000 women in Texas alone, are now turning to alternatives to induce their own abortions. Some are ordering pills online while others are trying to take herbal extracts, over-the-counter products, or those that have labels warning of health risks for pregnant women to try and cause a miscarriage, according to the report. Online inquiries about abortion jumped by 40 percent in 2011, a year after the anti-abortion measures began to pick up steam in state legislatures. And while many websites won’t ship abortion-inducing pills to the U.S., some do offer instructions on how Americans can get them in Mexico.

“These are stories of desperation, not empowerment,” University of California at San Francisco researcher Sarah Roberts told The Guardian. “These are stories of women going into their medicine cabinets and using things that are in there, or stories of women using illegal drugs, in the hopes that it will end their pregnancies.”

“Women who really want an abortion, for the most part, will figure out how to get one,” she said.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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