DIY Abortions

Jan 2 2013 @ 11:23am

Ada Calhoun reports on them:

[W]hile obtaining an abortion at a clinic is becoming harder, home abortion has never been easier or safer. In 2012, women have two resources that previous generations did not: abortion pills and the Internet. The combination of two drugs—Cytotec (Misoprostol) and Mifeprex (Mifepristone, known as RU-486 in trials) is 95 to 99 percent effective at ending a pregnancy in the first nine weeks, according to Ibis Reproductive Health’s Daniel Grossman, an expert on medical abortion. (Cytotec is 85 to 90 percent effective on its own.) "Essentially they induce an abortion similar to a spontaneous miscarriage," says Grossman of the drug combination. …

Determining how many American women have had home abortions is exceedingly difficult: 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not track illegal abortions. There is no blood test for drugs like Cytotec, and so such an abortion is indistinguishable from a natural miscarriage, even to a doctor. However, the proliferation of online dispensers suggests a rising demand. There are thousands of websites selling Cytotec for as little as $45 to $75 (compared with $300 to $800 for a legal medicated abortion in a clinic). Some claim to offer the harder-to-come-by Mifeprex, but may in fact be peddling Cytotec, or aspirin, or nothing at all. (Possible sources for the drugs include Mexico, where Cytotec is available over the counter, or even the United States, since it’s also prescribed here as an ulcer medication.)