Terminating an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy isn’t a decision any woman takes lightly, but the right to choose what we do with our own bodies is incredibly important. Not every state makes abortions easy to access, and with the current political climate and the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, a staunch advocate of overturning Roe cs. Wade, to the US Supreme Court, the future of women’s reproductive rights is under attack. However, a new company called Aid Access is aiming to help us out and keep abortions accessible.
The new online service, launched by Dutch physician and activist Rebecca Gomperts, provides medical abortion pills consisting of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to women less than 10 weeks pregnant. The prescriptions are given out after an online consultation with women who must answer a series of questions and meet strict guidelines. From there, Gumpert sends the prescription to a pharmacy in India and the pills are then mailed to the woman’s house for $95.
Mifepristone and misoprostol are FDA approved drugs that are 92 to 98% effective in terminating pregnancy, and the World Health Organization insists there’s no reason that healthy women shouldn’t be able to administer these drugs themselves at home rather than visiting a clinic.
While there are always risks and nothing is guaranteed, the overall research on Gumpert’s service seems to point to Aid Access being a sound service. Studying 1,000 women who had home abortions in Ireland and Northern Ireland between 2010 and 2012, the results spoke for themselves.
“Overall, 94.7% reported successfully ending their pregnancy without surgical intervention. Seven women reported receiving a blood transfusion, and 26 reported receiving antibiotics (route of administration (IV or oral) could not be determined). No deaths resulting from the intervention were reported by family, friends, the authorities, or the media. Ninety-three women reported experiencing any symptom for which they were advised to seek medical advice, and, of these, 87 sought attention. None of the five women who did not seek medical attention reported experiencing an adverse outcome.”
While Access Aid isn’t a complete fix for the lack of inexpensive, accessible reproductive healthcare that women need, it definitely helps by providing a vital service to women who might not otherwise get it.
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