Women First Digital, which provides online sexual and reproductive health resources, has partnered with Doctors Without Borders to launch a video series to guide patients through a medication abortion.
The series, which is available in 27 languages, aims to answer questions such as how abortion pills work, what to expect when undergoing a medication abortion and what signs to look for in case of complications.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on out-of-clinic and self-managed abortion with pills, which is not only a safe and effective method of abortion but preferred by many due to privacy and the comfort of home,” Claire Crossett, assistant director at WFD, said in a statement.
“Make no mistake: abortion is healthcare, and all people should have the option of seeking care within a clinical setting if they so choose. But there is also substantial and growing research that validates the safety and effectiveness of a self-managed abortion with pills when people are equipped with the right information and resources. That’s why we joined forces with MSF [Médecins Sans Frontières] to share a much-needed informational guide on self-managed abortions for all.”
WHY IT MATTERS
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed doctors and patients outside of hospitals and clinics to telehealth or other digital health settings.
In April, the Biden administration allowed pregnant people to receive abortion pills by mail for the duration of the pandemic, overturning a Supreme Court decision that reinstituted the requirement that the first of the two drugs needed to be given in a medical clinic.
Anti-abortion organization March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said removing the requirement “will put women in grave danger.”
“Our experience in MSF confirms that you don’t need clinical tests, medical equipment or surgical facilities in order to make an abortion with pills safe,” Dr. Manisha Kumar, head of Doctors Without Borders’ task force on safe abortion care, said in a statement. “What you need for a safe abortion with pills is 1) accurate information 2) quality medication and 3) mutual respect and trust.”
THE LARGER TREND
Medication abortions made up more than a third of all abortions in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Texas’ new abortion law, which prohibits abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy, could push more people to self-manage abortion as access is restricted, according to reporting by the Washington Post.