Demystifying Self-Managed Abortion


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By Jennie Wetter. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When many people hear the term ‘self-managed abortion,’ they may think unsafe abortion or pre-Roe v. Wade methods of terminating a pregnancy. Nowadays, self-managed medication abortion is extremely safe, effective, and can be done in the comfort and privacy of one’s own home. Erin Matson, Executive Director of Reproaction, sits down to talk with us about the myths, barriers to care, and the actions folks can take around self-managed abortion.

Self-managed abortion refers to when somebody ends their pregnancy outside of a medical setting. “The World Health Organization (WHO) has put misoprostol on the list of essential medicines and created a protocol for how women may manage their abortion with misoprostol without direct provider supervision.” Many choose to end their pregnancies outside of clinic settings due to immigration status, fear of being misgendered or patronized by clinic staff, or fear of protestors.

Despite the fact that medication abortion has been approved by the FDA for over 20 years, providers who wish to dispense medication abortion have to jump through extra logistical hoops to do so. Patients themselves face an in-person dispensing requirement, meaning they have to be physically handed the medications by their doctor rather than picking them up at a pharmacy (during the pandemic, the Biden administration has repealed that rule so that folks can access medication abortion through telemedicine and not expose themselves unnecessarily to COVID-19). The FDA has also announced that it will be conducting a formal review of the restrictions set in place for medication abortion.

Abortion pill “reversal” is an unsubstantiated claim that a medication abortion can be reversed with progesterone. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says there’s no evidence that this procedure is effective. It’s misinformation like this, though, that permeates the public understanding of abortion and erects more barriers to care.


Reproaction on Twitter

Reproaction on Facebook

Reproaction information on self-managed abortion

What do Bridges, Roads, and Abortions Have in Common? – article by Erin Matson

How to Spot a Fake Clinic

Take Action

You can follow Reproaction on Twitter and Facebook and stay up-to-date on their work.

Educate yourself on how self-managed abortion works! You can start by checking out Reproaction’s information here. You can also find petitions to sign to increase access to medication abortion here.

Many barriers to medication abortion occur at the state-level. Get involved with your statehouse and find out how access to self-managed, medication abortion is faring in your local area.

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