So … you find out you’re pregnant.
Usually there will be one of two main reactions. Euphoria. A baby!! Wonderful timing. That perfect addition! Or the alternative response … less than enthused. It’s not the right time. It wasn’t planned.
If the latter is the case and a woman wants to end the pregnancy, there is a way of doing so that’s what we call abortion.
Self-managed abortion …
It involves buying abortion pills on the internet and using them without medical supervision. Women Help Women have launched a project called SASS (Self-Managed Abortion. Safe and Supported) and are empowering women in the US to increase the availability of reproductive health choices. They provide information on abortion pills and how to use them without a medical professional’s intervention along with contact details for counsellors.
Is it legal?
According to the law in the UK, an abortion can be carried out if two doctors agree that there are medical grounds for it. There are actually many countries in the world where it is completely illegal.
So, to put it bluntly, no, the practice of it is not legal.
So there we have our very tricky situation as there are both pros and cons to this very sensitive subject.
Advantages of self-managed abortion
Some women, especially those verging on desperation, may, without the use of abortion pills, resort to scarier measures to terminate their pregnancy. It has been known in the past for women to injure themselves deliberately in an attempt to ensure the pregnancy does not continue.
Abortion clinics still cause gatherings of people to protest against the deed. It can be very distressing to have to walk through such campaigners to then sit in a waiting room to ultimately be given the very same drug you could buy on the internet anyway.
Another significant factor is the cost. A ‘high street’ abortion is actually pretty pricey. Buying the same drugs online will always be a cheaper alternative
And what about the disadvantages?
Well of course, it can’t be recommended to undertake any procedure without medical guidance. Taking any medication without discussing with your GP simply cannot be advised.
And the fact remains that the practice is illegal. Both abortion (without two doctors’ consent) and self-managed abortion can actually see a woman be imprisoned for life for ending her own pregnancy.
So in essence, it’s a pretty sad and dire situation. Women Help Women in the US have clearly noted the need for things to change with regard to abortion. As they rightly point out, women’s lives matter. There are many millions of women in the world today who have suffered or are suffering due to unwanted pregnancies and the charity is encouraging women to recognise their rights regarding their own physical and mental health.
With this forward-thinking, albeit controversial, approach it may not be long before other countries follow suit.