Illegal abortion pills (still) allowed to be advertised, despite the risk

It’s an ongoing saga. Again, we see Facebook allowing abortion providers to advertise and post information about getting abortion pills online while removing ads and locking down accounts of pro-life users.

Shady abortion pill suppliers have many pages for women around the world on Facebook. There are groups to talk about home abortion remedies where pill providers will often jump into the comments to say “DM sent” or “DM me” or give out their WhatsApp number.

Other pages offer abortion pills from private vendors who got the pills from who knows where and often include what looks like stock photos of misoprostol or Cytotec pills.

In fact, some providers of abortion pills have attempted to follow the Abortion pill reversal social media pages or pro-life support groups, looking for places to sell their drugs. Although pages and groups can be reported and closed for illegal or harmful content, they of course reappear immediately; or sometimes are never deleted to begin with, even when reported.

However, Facebook is not the only place where abortion providers get away with illegally supplying abortion pills.

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In the United States, it is against FDA Guidelines to use the abortion pill procedure (mifepristone + misoprostol) 10 weeks after the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period.

Also, because mifepristone can have serious side effects, it is not legal to buy and sell online in the United States. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, though.

An American website gives women ideas on how to get abortion pills without a prescription, by pointing to websites that offer them without a script. A small study was done showing how easy it was to illegally obtain abortion drugs buying them online and studying the quality of the drugs obtained and the safety of the process. The authors noted several concerning facts:

“None of these sites required a prescription or medical documents. Two had to complete an online medical history questionnaire; none of the questions asked about gestational age or any of the specific contraindications listed on the label of Mifeprex®, the brand of mifepristone approved for abortion by the United States Food and Drug Administration… products received rarely seemed to be the same brand as those ordered, and none came with instructions for use.

Other websites, like Plan C, specifically instruct women on how to obtain abortion pills “without clinician support” and in “creative ways” and cite evidence received from the above study to endorse the illegal purchase of abortion pills . They even have a hotline for women with questions about the “legal risks” of breaking the law.

Even abortion providers and advocates consider “safe” home abortions possible only when women have information about how to take the drugs correctly, what side effects to watch for, and when to seek in-person medical care. may be necessary – But then they have turned around and backed vendors who will sell women’s pills without any instruction or without any medical supervision or screening!

For example, the Plan C website has links to online abortion pill suppliers. and to a website on how to use abortion drugs.

The website they indicate on how to use abortion drugs lists as a guide for their information the National Abortion Federation (NAF) 2018 Clinical Policy Guidelines on Abortion Care.

Although the NAF guidelines state that out-of-clinic medical abortions can be performed, they also include strict guidelines for medical abortions, such as performing an initial assessment when the relevant medical history is taken, confirming the pregnancy and verification of gestational age, giving the patient information about side effects and risks, advising the patient that the abortion may fail and surgery may be required, and offering written and oral instructions for the use of home medications which list the risks and side effects.

None of these illegal online abortion vendors follow any of the guidelines listed above!

At Heartbeat International Options line and the APR hotlinewe have witnessed how the lack of education with these online providers harms women.

Women call us with all kinds of questions, from how to use the pills because the ones they got in the mail didn’t have instructions, to how to tell when the bleeding is too bad and they need to see a doctor.

They contact us because, to no one’s surprise, they cannot contact and get medical help from the seller they bought the pills from! They don’t know where to turn for help.

Tweet this: Women who have obtained abortion pills from illicit online vendors will call the options line to ask questions as they have been left with no help

Multiple studies have shown that home abortions are riskyperhaps even superior to surgical abortions in certain cases (such as the absence of medical supervision).

Tweet this: Many studies have shown that home abortions carry risks, perhaps even higher than surgical abortions, such as the lack of medical supervision.

These vendors and the pretty pro-choice websites and social media pages that support them put women at risk for serious complications. And yet, their websites and social media pages are allowed to remain operational, even though many clearly violate FDA guidelines in their advertising.

On the other hand, Facebook will remove ads by pro-life organizations and other social media platforms going to censor pro-lifers.

The NAF guidelines even go so far as to state that it is optional to tell clients interested in medical abortion that “If appropriate, patients can be advised that there is no evidence-based way to reverse mifepristone.”

Interestingly, the term “evidence-based” usually refers to a practice that has published results, the results are consistent, the methodology is scientifically sound, and there are guidelines for implementation. Abortion pill reversal meets all of these requirements, with ongoing research to further establish the veracity of the process.

The bias is clear. Pro-choice people can get away with saying or advertising just about anything they want on social media because, in their view of the world, commonly shared by these tech platforms, the Abortion is a good default option, abortion is health care, and abortion serves to defend women’s rights. rights. None of the assumptions underlying any of these conclusions are questioned, and if they are questioned or denounced, then that’s just pro-life propaganda, isn’t it?

Except it’s not pro-life marketing encouraging women to break the law or putting women’s lives at risk by withholding medical information.

Tweet this: Life Advocates do not encourage women to break the law or endanger women’s lives by withholding medical information.

Editor’s note: international heartbeat manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN), Options lineand Pregnancy Help News.

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