Now Online: the Stay-at-Home Abortion
Rebecca Gomperts is among activists who sell abortion drugs online
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2014 5:10 PM CDT
Anti-abortion protesters mob Rebecca Gomperts, center, the Dutch founder of Women on Waves, an abortion advocacy group, on Oct. 4, 2012, in the port of Smir, Morocco.   (AP/Paul Schemm)

(Newser) – With millions of women worldwide lacking access to abortion clinics, some activists are considering a new approach: the stay-at-home abortion. Leading the charge is Dutch physician Rebecca Gomperts, whose website Women on Web receives about 2,000 requests monthly for drugs that will induce miscarriages, the New York Times Magazine reports. Via a supplier in India, Gomperts has the drugs mifepristone (or RU-486) and misoprostol sent to women who are less than nine weeks pregnant in countries lacking safe abortion services. The women are asked to pay about $90 if they can. Gomperts' philosophy is about "reduction of suffering," she says, in a world where the World Health Organization estimates that 47,000 women died from unsafe abortions in 2008. (She made her name by taking an "abortion ship" to Ireland to skirt Irish abortion laws.)

But Gomperts has problems: Since last year, when the US began investigating Indian companies' delivery of generic drugs, her tracking numbers have been getting lost in the mail. And some countries will hold up the shipments at customs. "The anxiety level of the women goes up," says her Indian supplier. "It's painful." And Gomperts refuses to ship to the US, where abortion is legal, even though some states (like Texas) are cracking down on access to abortion clinics. Meanwhile, activists in Texas are advising women on how to use abortion drugs at home, or training "abortion doulas" to help women through the experience of taking mifepristone and misoprostol. How bad is that experience? It can be painful and has a death rate of 0.5 out of 100,000, most studies show, but Lydia Kae writes at Daily Life that she only had mild cramps, bleeding, and morning sickness. "Although I hope I never have to, if I found myself unexpectedly pregnant again, I would choose another medical abortion," she writes. (Read about a woman denied an abortion who was forced to give birth at 25 weeks.)

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Showing 3 of 292 comments
Sep 7, 2014 2:24 PM CDT
Thou shalt not kill .. is a commandment that too many people today have no adherence to because they have lost the fear of God and the belief that they are made in the image of God. This is what happens when the fear of God is lost and unborn children are valued less than cats and dogs. It not about being democrat or republican, it is about being human and fearing God. Which group fears Him the most?
Sep 2, 2014 4:45 PM CDT
Hard to believe we've reached the day where leftist feminists are marketing the "safest way to kill a child."
Sep 2, 2014 12:26 PM CDT
Today's Headlines 2025: Food Riots at the Vatican Spill over to Bordering France, Switzerland, Austria.....Muslim Clerics Say I told You So. If you can't feed them then don't breed them.