The United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade a few months back led to an uproar not only across the country but the entire world. The decision has led to several women in the country looking out for themselves through any means they can find because the state they reside in does not legally support their basic rights and decision around their bodies. Recently, a new study surfaced a concerning revelation around the surge of demand for abortion pills in the country, especially in states that have outright banned abortion as per law.
A study disclosed that ever since the SC decision around the abortion ban in June there has been a rise in demand for abortion pills administered outside of the United States medical system.
Suggested Reading: Abortions Be Safe Only When They Are Legal
Rise In US Women Ordering Abortion Pills
A University of Texas professor has led the latest study, which has found a shocking 158 per cent rise in requests for abortion-induced drugs. The requests have been made to a nonprofit organisation called Aid Access based in Austria. Aid Access is known for providing mail-order abortion pills in not only United States but also worldwide. The organisation works in a manner that it first provides telemedicine consultation with a physician and then takes forward the demand and supplies the medicine.
The research studied everyday requests for abortion pills made to the organisation after the Supreme Court's decision. It compared it with the period before the decision and found a visible surge.
More than twelve states have either completely banned or highly restricted abortion since the SC June ruling. While patient access to abortion pills through direct mail order still doesn't fall in the legal line of affairs, the new study reveals that through informal channels, women have been ordering medication on the internet and taking the pills at home themselves.
Abortion medication supply outside of the formal medical system
The lead researcher of the study Abigail Aiken stated that although abortion has become highly restricted in some states, the process of self-managing an abortion has changed and evolved in different ways now. Researchers, Aiken added, are still navigating a way to track self-managed abortions across the country because most of these abortions are happening outside of formally administered medical channels.
The data shared through the study reveals more than forty-two thousand requests for abortion pills across thirty states. While Aid Access is the only provider of abortion medication listed outside the formal medical system, several other organisations are providing the same services that remain untracked.
In 2020, there were over nine lakh abortions overall excluding self-managed abortions, as per the Guttmacher Insitute - a group supporting abortion rights and tacks national statistics on the same.
Challenges around mail-order abortions
The lawmakers belonging to states that have banned or restricted abortions come across several roadblocks around mail-order abortions because they are not easy to track and do not fall in line with legal systems in the respective states.
The study further revealed that states from where the highest orders of abortion medications were made include Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma. All of these stats carry the most stringent abortion laws in the United States.
While women in these states are finding no other means to terminate pregnancies courtesy of the law, it is becoming a higher concern because of the risks involved in what they're doing. Erin Matson, executive director of an abortion rights advocacy group pills Reproaction stated that organisations like hers are aiding to spread awareness about how the pills can be taken safely and why it's important to seek medical care and attention in case of emergencies. “The direct risk in the post-Roe America is legal and not medical,” she expressed.