Clinics Shut, however Abortion Continues

Clinics Close, but Abortion Continues

Among the women in the study, nearly half said they used the licensed abortion drug misoprostol or another drug in their most recent attempt to terminate a pregnancy on their own, while 38 percent used herbs that they heard would induce an abortion could, and nearly 20 percent used some physical method. like being hit in the stomach. Almost 28 percent said they had successfully ended the pregnancy. Among those who failed, 33.6 percent had later abortions in a clinic (often 100 miles or more from home), and 13.4 percent continued the pregnancy. Eleven percent said they had a complication after attempting an abortion on their own.

The most common reasons for trying to terminate a pregnancy on your own without involving the healthcare system were that it seemed easier or faster, that the procedure in one facility was too expensive, and that the nearest clinic was too far away. Although this survey did not include teenagers, pregnant teenagers are often reluctant or unable to seek parental consent, which many states require for medically supervised abortion, leading some teenagers to try self-induced abortion.

According to Dr. Ralph and co-authors "report abortion clinics and practitioners that they are caring for an increasing number of people who have attempted self-directed abortions." The researchers predicted that women's efforts to self-induce abortions will become more common as access to facility-based abortion care continues to decline.

For example, the last clinic in Missouri to offer abortions through Planned Parenthood may be forced to shut down in a dispute with state regulators. There was a break in order to be able to continue working until next May. Missouri and Mississippi are among a number of states where lawmakers have banned early pregnancy abortion, and most recently Texas banned all abortions after six weeks of gestation, a point at which the vast majority of women do not yet know they are pregnant . Last month the Supreme Court accepted a case leading to the overthrow of Roe v. Wade could lead.

"As more abortion clinics close and restrictions increase, they are likely to become more common because of the convenience of self-managed abortions," said Dr. Ralph in an interview. "Just because states are making abortion difficult to access doesn't mean that there is no need for an abortion." We should make sure women have the safest and most effective methods available. "

She noted that pandemic restrictions on personal doctor visits may have made it easier for women in many states to have access to self-administered abortions in their homes. Now more doctors are willing to offer abortion counseling over the phone and can even "mail out abortion drugs or give them to women in the parking lot," she said.

If used correctly within 70 days of the start of a woman's last menstrual period (10 weeks of pregnancy), medical termination is effective in more than 95 percent of cases in ending pregnancy, reported the Guttmacher Institute. There are two prescription drugs that are best used in combination that can induce an abortion early in pregnancy. One, an oral medication called mifepristone, is taken first to block the hormone progesterone, which is needed for pregnancy to continue. The other, misoprostol, is dissolved in the mouth or inserted vaginally a day or two later to induce contractions and expel the contents of the uterus, thereby terminating the pregnancy.


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