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Introducing 'DIY abortions' | Regan King

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Regan King comments on news that a new website launched in the USA has published a guide to 'DIY abortions'.

A new website launched in the USA has published a guide to DIY abortions.

Women Help Women (WHW) is an international group of feminist activists which has launched the site including a page entitled: "Using Abortion Pills for Safe Abortion in the USA. Self-Managed Abortion; Safe and Supported (SASS)."

WHW is very clear in summing up its primary agenda:

Feminists around the world are cooperating to put reproductive health products, such as contraceptives and medical abortion, into women’s hands, where they belong. Access to products and reliable information empowers women who share and women who receive knowledge. Women Help Women works to make accesseasier and rooted in your choices, informationmore reliable and based on the most current standards, and activismmore collaborative and powerful. [1]

WHW has launched its latest USA targeted initiative in the wake of recent measures signed into law by President Trump that could affect easy access to abortions.

International Planned Parenthood, an organisation that provides and promotes abortion in countries outside the USA, has been stripped of federal funding while its sister US based organisation Planned Parenthood remains under the same threat should it continue providing abortions. In mid-April President Trump signed a law that will allow individual states to block funding to organizations that provide abortions.

Having provided abortion pills internationally, Women Help Women's SASS initiative in the US (where providing the pills remains illegal) seeks

to demonstrate the acceptability and safety of self-managed medication abortion, to inform future efforts at deregulating these essential medicines, and to strengthen advocacy efforts for expanded access to all safe options that are needed, including self-managed abortion and clinical care. [2]

It might no longer surprise us that an organisation like WHW is advocating the 'acceptability' of abortion. But WHW is also enabling the very thing that pro-abortion advocates argue legalised abortion steers away from: unsafe, do-it-yourself abortions.

Pro-abortion activists insist that a fundamental benefit of legalising abortion was the end of backstreet abortions. Whether the UK Abortion Act 1967 or the 1973 US decision of Roe vs Wade, the claim is made that these effectively brought an end to DIY abortions that could kill not only the infant, but also the mother.

This is simply not true. DIY abortions are on the rise. The New York Times reports that in the US in 2015, "Over all, there were more than 700,000 Google searches looking into self-induced abortions in 2015". [3] Methods applied vary.

In 2010, Bei Bei Shuai killed her preborn child by eating rat poison. [4] Shuai was prosecuted by the state of Indiana. Women’s rights advocates at the time claimed it was unfair to prosecute her as she was emotionally disturbed and actually wanted to end her life. Lawyers also insisted that the ‘overly gory’ photos of her aborted baby not be shown to jurors.

In 2015, Ana Yocca attempted to kill her preborn baby by using an unravelled coat-hanger in the bath tub. When she began to lose blood, she called paramedics and her baby was born and lived despite being only 24 weeks (the UK term limit for abortions). Sadly, the baby boy will be dependent on medical care throughout his life due to harm caused in the attempted abortion. Yocca was prosecuted and spent only just over a year in jail due to a plea bargain. Despite the horrific nature of Yocca’s action, Lynn Paltrow of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women defended her actions saying:

This plea deal should not be understood as validation of arresting and punishing pregnant women who have or try to have abortions but rather a frightening example of how the criminal law system can be used to bully and punish pregnant women and mothers – with or without a conviction or valid law… [5]

Cosmopolitan also bemoaned Yocca’s conviction and sought to excuse her actions and similar actions undertaken by others, even attempting to downplay the role her abortion attempt played in her child’s ongoing medical condition. [6] Once more, an indication of where radical feminist ideology naturally leads.

The problem is not limited to the US. In 2015 Natalie Towers of County Durham aborted her child at around 33 weeks using the drug Misoprostol, the same drug advised and supplied by WHW. Towers was jailed as her action does transgress against the regulations of the Abortion Act (1967). Nevertheless, Kerry Abel of the  feminist and pro-abortion organisation, ‘Abortion Rights’ maintained:

In a case like this it is not sensible to criminalise the woman. I don’t think it should have gone to court ... a baby is not a baby until it is born. [7]

Dwell on the illogical and nonsensical element of that last clause for a moment and its grievous implications.

At the end of March, more than 100 packs of illegal abortion pills - again Misoprostol - were seized by police in Northern Ireland. In keeping with the trend, the Belfast Feminist Network condemned this attempt to uphold the law. [8]

The agenda of WHW and other similar radical feminist, pro-abortion groups is clear. Open access to abortion without restraint or repercussion is the main goal. Such groups claim such access is what ended back street abortions. These groups’ actions indicate that in reality they think back street abortions are fine. Abortion availability is not about safety. The counsel that they will seek to provide to desperate, frightened, and lonely women will only be that which instructs them in abortion. The impersonal web advice and supply of abortion pills effectively removes the woman from genuine help and counsel and separates her from any positive contact. Such advice can lead these women to legal trouble and despair. Far from helping women, WHW hurts women.

WHW and similar organisations' quest to 'empower' women through promoting 'reproductive rights' is built on a premise that truth is relative to your personal situation, feelings come before facts, and personal convenience takes precedence over selfless consideration.

Inactivity is not an option for the Christian when faced with such a heinous blight on our society. In the words of William Wilberforce, "You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know."

Local churches must be proactive in boldly opposing such a worldview. Local church pastors must be willing to tackle these difficult subjects in their teaching.

Christians must be equipped and ready to engage our society with Biblical truth expressed in a loving way in word and action. Why not consider contacting us at Christian Concern or another pro-life group like Abort67 to see what else you can do practically to stand for life against the hurt and harm abortion wrecks on our society. 

Only through this active engagement as part of the discipleship process will we be able to see WHW and our increasingly pro-death culture defeated and replaced with a society that embraces and celebrates life. A world that truly helps women.

[1] Women Help Women, "Women Help Women is about Access, Information and Activism.", 29 August 2014
[2] Women Help Women, "About SASS: Self Managed Abortion; Safe and Supported", 18 April 2017
[3] Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, 'The Return of the D.I.Y. Abortion', in The New York Times, March 5, 2016
[4] Daily Mail Reporter, "'I was scared': Woman accused of killing her unborn baby by drinking rat poison speaks out ahead of murder trial as her lawyer insists it was a suicide attempt" in The Daily Mail, 26 April 2013
[5] Molly Reddin, 'Tennessee woman jailed for attempting abortion accepts plea deal for release' in The Guardian, 11 January 2017
[6] Robin Marty, "The Coat-Hanger Abortion Is Back, and This Time, Women Can Be Jailed for It" in Cosmopolitan, 15 December 2017
[7] Richard Spillett and Chris Brooke, "Mother who forced a miscarriage when she was over 32 weeks pregnant by taking poison because she 'couldn't deal with the stress' is jailed for two and a half years" in The Daily Mail, 17 December 2015
[8] Allan Preston, Police seize 100-plus packets of illegal abortion pills in raids, in The Belfast Telegraph, March 28 2017 


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