April 29, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – An international group of abortion advocates has started a site to advise American women how to use RU-486 and a second medication to abort unborn children without a doctor’s prescription or supervision required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Women Help Women describes itself as “an international group of activists, trained counselors and non-profit organizations and foundations” who “bridge the gap between reproductive rights advocacy efforts and service provision.”
The site calls that service “self-managed abortion, safe and supported.”
“Women Help Women does not ship abortion pills to the USA under any circumstances,” the group said in response to a LifeSiteNews query. However, the website, which went up Thursday, does suggest several ways for Americans to secure RU-486, aka Mifepristone, which kills the unborn child, or Misoprostol, which causes the woman’s body to expel the child, dead or alive.
Misoprostol is much easier to get than Mifepristone, a visitor to the site quickly learns. One can pretend to need it as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis and get a prescription. Or one can go across the Mexican border to buy it over the counter. It can be also obtained from “some internet veterinary supply stores and veterinarians, as it is used to treat ulcers and arthritis in dogs,” by someone pretending to be a vet. Some states allow women to order it through the mail as part of a study. The contact information for the study is provided.
But Mifepristone, apparently, can only be purchased over the Internet in combination with Misoprostol. But the quality is uneven.
Once a person has skirted FDA regulations and procured the drug or drugs, the site promises, “Misoprostol alone, or in combination with mifepristone, is a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy in the first 12 weeks. It is approved by the World Health Organization as a safe abortion method when used by women themselves to nine weeks and has been used successfully by millions of women around the world, without a clinician.”
A question-and-answer page explains when not to use abortion pills, what side effects to expect, and it promises to provide “trained counselors” via the website who “will answer you within a few hours.”
Women Help Women executive director Kinga Jelinska told The Washington Post the group has just launched the U.S. version of its five-year-old international site because of the election of President Trump on a pro-life platform.
“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,” said Jelinska.
Women Help Women told LifeSiteNews via an email exchange that American women needed the service “because of the restrictions on abortion. In the USA, many women are hundreds of miles from a clinic that can provide abortion care.
“The burdens of barriers to abortion fall mostly on those who are young, rural and low income. So often there is no doctor they can visit. Like many health services in your country, access is determined by income and insurance coverage.”
However, Americans United for Life spokeswoman Kristi Hamrick responded that the FDA had good reason for restricting the use of the two abortion pills.
“Chemical abortion drugs are dangerous, and women have died when taking them,” she told LifeSiteNews. “These drugs are particularly dangerous to women who are later in pregnancy and women who are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. That is why a physical exam must be required and supervision needed.”
Hamrick said the real push for removing the restrictions comes from the abortion industry. “Its fight to sell drugs in such as way as to risk women's lives and health shows its true loyalty – to money over the needs of women.”
Hamrick cites the FDA’s website, where the agency reports, “Since its approval in September 2000, the [FDA] has received reports of serious adverse events, including several deaths, in the United States following medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol.”
She added that a 2011 FDA report counted “at least 2,207 cases of severe adverse events,” including enough blood loss to require transfusions, serious infections, and even death.
Cristina Allarcon, a Canadian pharmacist and a crusader for the right to refuse to fill prescriptions for euthanasia drugs, told LifeSiteNews that abortion itself is always wrong, but self-abortion also increases the risk to the mother. “What will they do on the other end of an Internet connection when she starts hemhorraging alone in her home? Where is the accountability?”
Allarcon also warned of the risk of an adverse psychological reaction. “I should think it should be harsher for a woman who does it all herself. Yet nobody has studied that impact.”
“It’s extremely irresponsible,” she added. “I don’t think it will help women.”