Abortion-at-Home: A Frightening Trend Springing Up World Wide
During the past year, with the phrase “reproductive rights” ringing louder after the 2016 election, websites have sprung up encouraging women to purchase abortion pills online. An international organization called Women Help Women has a site which talks about obtaining abortion pills online encouraging use of their “services.” Although currently it’s illegal for anyone living in the United States to receive abortion drugs through an internet site, some women may be obtaining them anyway. And, for women living in four different states, a research study is now underway looking at the possibility of dispensing abortion pills via telemedicine.
On the Women Help Women website, clicking on the question “How Can I Find Abortion Pills?” a pop-up response reads, “If you live in Hawaii, New York, Oregon, or Washington State, you may be able to receive abortion pills by mail through the TelAbortion Study. Please visit www.telabortion.org for further information.” Exploring that particular site, one discovers this study “is a research project that aims to evaluate the use of telemedicine for providing a medical abortion to women who have difficulty getting to an abortion clinic.” The site goes on to say that an abortion provider will consult with a study participant via videoconference, and that “qualifying participants are sent the necessary abortion medicines by overnight mail.”
Dangerous waters are being tread here. Although the US FDA has supposedly “reviewed” the study, no other claims or disclaimers, are available on the website. And though the Women Help Women website says it won’t ship to someone living in the United States, a recent report from Heartbeat International, the organization which advises many pregnancy centers around the world, cites a study published in the fall of 2017 in which researchers in the United States obtained abortion pills by mail through internet sources.
When women are not under the care of a physician, they are taking their lives into their own hands – a dangerous thing to do. For example, without an ultrasound, a woman doesn’t know for sure how far along she is. If she is considering a medical abortion, she should not be more than 10 weeks pregnant. Additionally, if she was to have an ectopic pregnancy and not know that fact, she is at risk of losing her life. There can be other complications from an abortion attempt, and without follow-up care from a physician, a woman puts her future reproductive health, indeed her very life, at risk. According to the writers of the above-mentioned study, “None of the products came with instructions or any written communication. All of the products were labeled as having been manufactured in India.” Additionally, some of the medication didn’t have the dosage advertised.
According to a news article on CBS.com, several different countries offer the abortion pills Mifeprex and misoprostol without a prescription; one of those is Mexico. Another obviously is India, since that’s where the pills obtained by the researchers were manufactured and no prescription was required.
Even pro-choice physicians voice concerns about internet abortion drug purchase.
"’Any time you're obtaining something illegally, there's really no way to know what you're really getting,’” the CBS story quotes Katherine D. Pocius, MD, MPH, pro-choice medical director of family planning at Massachusetts General Hospital.
With the younger generation being attached to electronic gadgets and buying online, and with telemedicine reaching more people, including those in rural areas, we shouldn’t be surprised at the availability of abortion pills through the internet. Online instructions for “DIY Abortions” via herbal and other methods are also prominent, and, according to a 2016 article in Glamour magazine, these are options many abortion-determined women are investigating and attempting. The publication surveyed 15 physicians in about 10 states; most said they knew of women trying to self-induce abortions, and five had seen patients who had attempted to do it. Additionally, the article noted, in 2015 “Americans entered at least 700,000 searches for variations of the phrase ‘how to self-abort.’”
These are realities we need to pray about, not only for the sake of unborn lives, but for the sake of women’s health. There is a hard-hearted, “it’s all about me” crisis in this world, and only God can cure it. We as His children are called to pray for the lost and misguided; therefore, we need to earnestly pray for hearts to change from death-oriented to life-affirming.