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The abortion drug Mifepristone, also known as RU486. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Desperate times…

Controversial website seeks to guide women through self-induced abortions

By WITW Staff on May 1, 2017

Women Help Women, an international advocacy group, has launched a website to guide American women through self-induced abortions using the so-called “abortion pill.”

As The Washington Post reports, will connect women to a trained counselor overseas. The site is specifically geared towards women who live in states with restrictive abortion laws, and who have illegally obtained the abortion pill on the internet or elsewhere.

Kinga Jelinska, executive director of Women Help Women, told the Post that the website was launched in response to the pervasive rollback of women’s reproductive rights. Several states have been clamping down on abortion access, and President Donald Trump has said that he supports the revocation of Roe v. Wade.

“There is a lot of fear and worry that, with the current administration and restrictions that are to the enormous disadvantage of girls and women, that access to clinical care might further diminish,” Jelinska said.

But the site, which went live on Thursday, is already raising concerns. The abortion pill is actually two medications — mifepristone and misoprostol — that can be taken through the 10th week of pregnancy. A doctor or nurse usually gives the mifepristone to the patient, while the misoprostol is taken later on at home, according to Planned Parenthood. Complications associated with these medicines are rare; a 2015 study found that the incidence of complications was .31 percent, as the Post points out. But the FDA recommends that the pills be taken under medical supervision, after being prescribed by a medical professional.

Another issue centers upon the fraught legality of self-induced abortions. Several states have criminalized the practice, and those who procure or use abortion pills are susceptible to prosecution. In 2014, for instance, a Pennsylvania woman was jailed for buying abortion pills for her 16-year-old daughter.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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