Abortion pill how-to site falls short in serving women

Abortion pill how-to site falls short in serving women (MART PRODUCTION/Pexels)

An unexpected positive pregnancy test leads her to a desperate search on her phone on what to do next. How do I get that pill? How do I stop end this pregnancy now? 

It’s as easy as a click. 

There is a website where those considering the abortion pill can be guided through the process one click at a time. All the necessary questions a woman may have are subsequently answered – well, almost all of them.

HowToUseAbortionPill.com helps women track their LMP, or last menstrual period, and lets them know if they qualify for the misoprostol and mifepristone up to 13 weeks gestation. 

The website gives information that a woman can analyze before she makes her decision, such as what to do if she is breastfeeding, has an STD or is using birth control.

Drinking lots of water and eating light the day a woman takes the medication is encouraged and safety measures are reviewed such as not to be home alone in case of significant bleeding.

Not sure if your area allows the abortion pill? There is a search engine on the site for that, too. 

While all of this sounds like an informative and well-meaning approach to promote the safety of those choosing the abortion pill, is it also just one way to make it easier?

Google ‘abortion pill’ and most of this same information will pop up in one form or another. Packaged nice and neatly in one site seems like a safe idea, right?

No matter how “good” the intentions may be, there are a few things to be addressed.

The HowToUseAbortionPill.com website firmly protects women in countries where at home abortion is illegal. Therefore, there are tips on the site as to what to say to a medical professional if something goes wrong.

In other words, women are encouraged to lie in order to stay out of trouble with the law.

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Is this a safe idea? Does this go hand in hand with all of the safety tips and information out there on the web in regard to the abortion pill (not just this location)?

If the Supreme Court follows through and changes the Roe decision, states may choose to stop all forms of abortion, including the pill. This particular website may be lighting up with clicks. And more and more women may choose to pass off botched medical abortions as abnormal bleeding.

Tweet This: Unsafe: An abortion pill "how-to" site offers tips on misleading medical professionals about having taken the pill if something goes wrong

If I could suggest some additions to a site like this, I would ask for testimonials. Women who have chosen the abortion pill could anonymously share their physical and emotional experience. Another option would be post-abortive help. How about an opportunity to click and ask where a woman can receive counseling after this process is over and she is grieving and depressed? 

Another tap of the mouse could lead to APR, Abortion Pill Reversal. What happens when you change your mind halfway through the process? Nowhere on the site answers that question. 

If you have been raped or in an abusive relationship, how about some links to hotlines for help?

And lastly, how about this question: Are you sure this is the best decision for you? One click could lead a to a page that simply says, “Take a deep breath. This is not your only choice.”

If we are putting together informational packages online or in print for women with hundreds of questions about her body and the abortion pill, let’s strive to answer all of them. If we truly care about her safety and her experiences, let’s look at all sides of the coin. 

Editor's note: In the U.S. instructional websites are primarily accessed after ordering abortion pills on the 70+ websites where they are available without verification of pregnancy. These websites are a combination of pharmacy and abortion websites that sell abortion drugs directly to consumers without prescription. The drugs are typically not labeled and do not come with printed instructions. The instructional websites provide information about how to use the drugs for chemical abortion purposes. 

The FDA warns consumers regarding the dangers of purchasing abortion drugs online because this practice bypasses important safeguards and the drugs are not the FDA-approved versions of the drugs. 

Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN) and Pregnancy Help News.

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