Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Women on Web and Women Around the World
A recent study by the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has brought light to the Women on Web website, which allows women to purchase the abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. The pills, (which can be purchased for 55 British pounds, or about 110 American dollars), are only sent to countries where abortion is heavily restricted, or completely banned. Unfortunately, though the intention of the service is to “reduce the number of deaths due to unsafe abortions”, 11% of the women who used the pills had medical complications that required surgery. Sadly, these pills are the safest alternative to extremely dangerous illegal abortion. Though the Women on Web site helps women with their reproductive rights, it’s a frightening reminder of what could happen in the United States if Roe v. Wade is overturned. In the US, abortion restrictions such as mandatory waiting periods, parental notification and consent laws, and late term abortion bans are continually enacted. With these constant attacks on choice, the alternative method of obtaining pills from the Internet may be closer than we think. Without access to safe, legal abortion, women turn to dubious, dangerous termination methods that can cause serious side effects. Outlawing abortion doesn’t stop it from happening- as the Guttmacher Institute proves; the incidence of abortion is the same for women in every country, regardless of whether the procedure is legal. The need for safe, legal abortion is crucial to defending reproductive rights not only in America, but for women all over the world.