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The Story of Abortion Pills and How They Work


Another clinical abortion method is a medical procedure that uses suction to remove a pregnancy from the uterus. The process is quicker, says Murphy, but the abortion pill allows for greater control over where and when someone chooses to initiate the termination. That said, until the pandemic hit, there were rules in place to prevent medication from being taken at home.

“We got into the ridiculous situation where women have to travel miles to get to a clinic,” she explains of the situation in the UK. “They have to swallow the pills in the clinic, then return home as quickly as possible when the cramps start.” In contrast, women who miscarried on the same medication never had to take the pill on the spot, adds Murphy.

It was only when Covid-19 restricted people’s access to face-to-face healthcare that the UK began testing a “medicine by post” service. Recently England and Wales decided to make the service permanent, and Scotland is expected to do the same. Likewise, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows abortion pills to be mailed during the pandemic, and this policy will go into effect in perpetuity at the end of 2021. However, what if Roe v. Wade flipped upside down, some states will Prohibition of delivering abortion pills by mail.

When taking medication at home, some pregnant women may choose to soak in the tub or use a hot water bottle to feel as comfortable as possible, says Murphy. The fetus can be disposed of however they choose, and there will be no trace of the abortion or the abortion pill in their system, she added.

“Sometimes, people don’t realize how difficult this experience will be,” says Ushma Upadhyay, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco. Bleeding can be heavier and longer lasting, up to four weeks, than some patients expect, she adds. It’s a good idea to have a friend or loved one support you through this process, especially when the cramping and bleeding are at their peak.

Even so, Upadhyay’s research shows that medical abortions are extremely safe and effective. In a 2015 study of nearly 55,000 abortions In the United States, which includes more than 11,000 medical abortions, she and her colleagues found that the major complication rates for women using the drug were comparable to those of other abortion procedures. About 95% of medical abortions result in no complications.

“The safety rate is extremely high, much higher than people commonly believe,” said Upadhyay.

Imogen Goold, a professor of medical law at the University of Oxford, says that wherever the regulatory framework fails to establish a woman’s right to an abortion on demand, it can be difficult to maintain the availability of drugs such as mifepristone , due to continued controversy in some places. But making access to abortion more difficult doesn’t stop those who seek it, As studies have proven. “All it does is cause stress and shame,” says Goold.

While the US Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, many doctors expect that people will find a way to buy abortion pills if they want to. “Thanks to the pills, self-management and self-sourcing will look a lot different today than it did in the past. Roe“Chelsea Faso, a family medicine physician in New York and a member of the Physicians of Reproductive Health.

Murphy agrees. And while abortion methods are dangerous still, disturbingly, in use In non-clinical settings, these pills — which make abortions much safer for self-directed pregnancies — are thought to be the preferred choice for those who decide to have abortions against their will. the law. This is situation in Northern Ireland for many years.

“In places where we consider abortion illegal, women will find ways to access these drugs,” says Murphy.



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