UCC team leader: Self-managed abortion is as easy as pills
As Americans await a Supreme Court decision that could undermine a woman’s legal and constitutional right to reproductive health care, UCC advocates are sharing commentaries and reflections around reproductive justice. This is the third article in that series.
As we anticipate a potential future where abortion access is made more and more difficult — if not impossible in some states — it’s important to know the facts about self-managed abortion. We no longer live in a world where all people who want to end a pregnancy will need to sneak to back alleys and use wire hangers. People can order the necessary pills to initiate a miscarriage online and/or do what they need to do, right at home.
What is self-managed abortion? It’s a way for people to take control of their reproductive futures. It is a private and safe way to get not pregnant. It is an empowering way of using pills —whether under the tongue, between the cheek and gum, or swallowed as per the directions — to initiate a medical miscarriage and move on with one’s life, un-pregnant.
It is noteworthy, especially as abortion is criminalized in some states, that self managed abortion through the pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) is not medically detectable when used orally. Should something happen and one were to go to the ER, the pill functions just as a spontaneous miscarriage would, and the treatment is the same. Should someone need to have medical intervention, this may be helpful to know, especially as many ERs are required to report for potential prosecution.
I learned all this while attending a training led by the Rev. Terry Williams of Faith Choice Ohio about how to support people who might need access to what they need to know about self managed abortion. As people of faith, it feels even more important for us to help hold and spread information, much like those who came before us did in the 1960s and 70s; paving a pathway for Roe and legal abortion in the first place. This is our work.
Some critical websites to learn more about self-managed abortion are:
- Global telehealth information on how to use pills for safe abortion: www.womenhelp.org
- Information for those using abortion pills in the U.S.: www.abortionpillinfo.org
- Updated info on how people in the U.S. are accessing abortion pills online: www.plancpills.org
- Legal Questions about self-managed abortion: www.reprolegalhelpline.org
- Advanced provision of abortion pills: www.aidaccess.org
And finally, you can learn too, and become a witness for abortion access. Check out trainings on self-managed abortion like the ones offered twice monthly by Faith Choice Ohio. More information is found here. You do not have to live in Ohio to train, and it is taught to the most conservative standards for liability so that we are both prepared and aware of how to support people in conversation with the changing legal realities currently at play across our nation.
Join us in becoming a witness for abortion access in your community.
The Rev. Chris Davies serves as the minister and team leader for the Faith Education, Innovation and Formation (Faith INFO) ministry team in the national setting of the United Church of Christ. She is also on the board at Preterm, an independent abortion clinic in Cleveland, Oh.
A UCC reproductive justice working group has been compiling resources, and maintaining a Worship Ways page in anticipation of the Supreme Court decision. The UCC will be holding communal digital space on the day of that decision—whatever day that is—at 6 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. CT/ 4 p.m. MT / 3 p.m. PT/ noon HI. Look for the registration link on social media as soon as the decision is announced.
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