Every month I write a post saying “abortions are good!” and send a donation to Aid Access to support their work providing abortion pills to people who need them.
This month marks a year since Roe v Wade was overturned, a year since the Supreme Court declared that I am less of a person because I can get pregnant. It’s awful, and it’s overwhelming, and it’s only getting worse. It is so very easy to despair.
But there are people out there working hard to help. And you can help too!
The most concrete, immediate, direct way I can think of to help is to spread the word about abortion pills and to support the organizations that make them available. That’s why I do these posts every month.
I want to make damn sure all of you know that abortion pills are safe and effective (no matter how much you weigh). That a doctor can’t tell you’ve taken them. That you can get them in every state. That you can order them right now, even if you’re not pregnant, to have on hand in case you need them later. And that there are folks out there who will help you get them (even if you can’t pay for them them) and help you use them safely.
These are some of my favorite resources. They are doing the work. Follow them. Learn from them. Tell other people about them. Support them now so they’ll be there if you need their support later.
Things are awful, but you’re not alone. These folks are fighting for you. You can help them do it.
There’s a slideshow version of this on instagram, because that’s how you get folks to see stuff there. But the blog works better for lots of links, so here, let’s have some footnotes!
Here’s my favorite single resource for citations on the safety and efficacy of abortion: The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine from 2018. It cites lots and lots and lots of reputable published work. You can read the whole thing for free online. The most relevant bits are in chapter 2, the bits about abortion pills are right here and include things like like “a recent systematic review of this regimen—including 33,846 medication abortions—found an overall effectiveness rate of 96.7 percent for gestations up to 63 days (9 weeks)” and “complications after medication abortion, such as hemorrhage, hospitalization, persistent pain, infection, or prolonged heavy bleeding, are rare—occurring in no more than a fraction of a percent of patients” and larger body size “has not been found to increase the risk for adverse outcomes after medication abortion” (all with handy citations to the sources right there in the text, it’s great).
Here’s a New England Journal of Medicine article with information on whether a doctor can tell if you’ve taken abortion pills (they can’t, as long as you take the medicine orally) or if they need to know in order to provide medical care (nope, the treatment is the same as for a spontaneous miscarriage). The most relevant bits are “patients who have used these medications may be clinically indistinguishable from those who have had uncomplicated spontaneous pregnancy loss. Similarly, patients with complications of self-managed medication-induced abortion and those with complications of miscarriage may have identical clinical presentations.“
And finally, while abortion pills are available in every state, the combination of changing laws and complete lack of digital privacy can feel scary, so here are some good places to learn a little more about how to protect your information online.