Getting Around the Impending Abortion Bans: An Open Letter to Readers

 
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!!abortion is still safe and legal!!

Currently 8 states (Utah, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia) have passed bans on abortion but NONE OF THEM ARE CURRENTLY IN EFFECT!


Dear my amazing American readers,

Let me start this letter with this: I am so, so sorry to those affected by the abortion bans that have been written into law. As a Canadian, I have the privilege to access an abortion, which I have…twice. Yes, abortion is legal in Canada, and while not 100% accessible to everyone (some areas you have to pay, and some provinces like PEI it’s not available on the island), but this is about Canada. This is about you. 

So, I want to take this opportunity to let you know the following:

  1. Abortion is 100% safe, a valid medical procedure, and STILL LEGAL as of right now.

  2. If somehow the ACLU is not successful in preventing Abortion Ban, you still have options which I will describe below. 

While I sat at home, very sad, outraged and feeling so helpless, I took to Instagram. There I found out about a fantastic organization called Aid Access

Aid Access is a place to get an online consultation with a doctor. On the site you can fill out a consultation form, it takes about 10 minutes to complete. After I completed the form I was given a message saying I would hear from a doctor. Within 2 hours, I had an email very kindly explaining to me that they couldn’t provide support in Canada but did give me two links for assistance in Canada (which I will also offer below).  And told me if I was able to procure the medication to contact them to get instructions on how to use them.

However, if you are in the United States and you receive help from Aid Access, this is what will happen:

You will be prescribed “abortion pills” in the form of Mifepristone and Misoprostol after you make a donation. When used together they are very effective:

  • For people who are 8 weeks pregnant or less, it works about 94-98 out of 100 times.

  • For people who are 8-9 weeks pregnant, it works about 94-96 out of 100 times.

  • For people who are 9-10 weeks pregnant, it works about 91-93 out of 100 times.

However, if you cannot get Mifepristone – it’s okay. Misoprostol is still about 75-85% effective.

Using these drugs will provoke an abortion if done correctly. An abortion is essentially a miscarriage and a miscarriage is like a long and somewhat explosive period. Probably on par with the worst period you will experience - or at least it was for me. Use ibuprofen to help ease discomfort with cramping, DO NOT take aspirin because it can increase bleeding.

Over 90% of people who used this method of abortion had little to no complications that required urgent care. Which is great! However, complications can happen so it is important to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms.

But what if you are a minor and cannot get support or help from your parents or legal guardians? What if you don’t have insurance, and can’t afford the pills?

Don’t worry, Auntie has you. 

If you are a minor and can’t get help from your parents, or don’t want your parents to know by using insurance or just cannot afford it, it’s okay. All is not lost. 

Misoprostol can be sourced at pharmacies for animals, and there is a significant cost difference between the human and animal pharmacies. Don’t ask me why and let’s just chalk it up to the fact that America cares more about a sick animal than a person with a uterus. Ridiculous I know. If you choose (or have to) take this route, make sure to pay close attention to dosing. 

If you live in a small town where everyone knows everyone, if you can, go to another state or city, and do the following:

  1. Don’t tell anyone why you are going to another city or state.

  2. Procure the pill(s) as mentioned earlier. Still, don’t tell anyone. And follow the instructions.

  3. If you experience complications, go to the hospital and tell them you are having a miscarriage. 

  4. Doctors and Pharmacists are bound by HIPAA, they cannot disclose to anyone that you procured abortion pills. 

You don’t know how to take the medication and haven’t heard from the doctors at Aid Access? Don’t panic, no seriously don’t panic! Remember Auntie got you, okay? Okay.

On Aid Access’s website, there is a video under “How to use abortion pills”. Follow the video exactly. 

You will be okay. There are so many people fighting for a better world, better sex education, fighting for reproductive rights and everyone’s bodily autonomy. In the meantime, remember that abortion is still safe and still legal. Laws take a long time to go into effect.

Here are some important links, bookmark them:

Aid Access

Planned Parenthood

International Women’s Health Coalition

National Women’s Health Network

Women on Waves

For my Canadian readers:

National Abortion Federation

Call toll-free 1-800-772-9100


!!Remember: these bans have yet to take effect, abortion is still safe and legal!!

 

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BETHANY KILLEN - RESIDENT ADVICE COLUMNIST & SEX THERAPIST

Bethany Killen (she/her), whose time spent finding ways to navigate through her own personal struggles led her to pursue a career in social work.

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