Aid access

Doctor behind abortion pills mail service launches new enterprise for American women

Doctor Rebecca Gomperts addresses supporters as the abortion rights campaign group ROSA, Reproductive Rights Against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity hold a rally at Guildhall square on May 31, 2018 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The doctor who has made obtaining abortion pills far easier for women all around the world has launched a new service that will empower women who are in the early stages of pregnancy to get the pills they need to terminate a pregnancy. Rebecca Gomperts founded Women on Web in 2001, and her service has been sending misoprostol and mifepristone, two drugs that when taken sequentially in the first trimester will induce an abortion, by mail to women in many places around the world.

But for a host of logistical reasons along with worries about the strong anti-abortion currents in society, Gomperts has never been able to offer the service to American women. No more. She has launched Aid Access, a new service that will mail the abortion pills to qualifying women in the U.S. Women who are no more than nine weeks pregnant, The Atlantic reports, because after that milestone, the pills are less likely to work. When taken properly, the pills induce an abortion with a 97 percent success rate, and both of Gomperts’ services send careful instructions for women to follow.

For the new service, Gomperts will personally fill each woman’s prescription, and women who have questions will be able to Skype with Gomperts or call a help line. Despite having wanted to bring her service to the U.S. for many years, she’d held off due to a range of concerns. But that recently all changed after she heard from a woman in need.

“I got an email from a woman who was living in a car with two kids,” she told Olga Khazan The Atlantic. “Something had to be done.” And Gomperts hopes that there are some copycats out there that will bring the same service to American women. “I hope I will be the first of many others so I won’t be in a situation where I can’t deal with the amount of requests,” she said.

Several U.S. states still require women to take the abortion pills while in the presence of a medical professional, but a recent study showed that taking the pills at home without medical supervision is safe. Last year, Scotland began allowing women to take the abortion pills at home, and there is growing support for a similar motion in England. However, in the U.S., a Supreme Court decision earlier this year now allows Arkansas to effectively ban abortion pills.

Read the full story at The Atlantic

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