This article was originally published on Dec 28th, 2022 at Pregnancy Help News and is reprinted here with permission.
What would an appropriate reaction be to finding out that a prescription medication with potentially severe side effects was being illegally sold online under fake advertisements to avoid the listing being taken down?
Sounds pretty bad, right? I think an appropriate reaction would be shock, surprise, horror, confusion, indignation… a myriad of emotions would be understandable. A desire for the listings to be taken down and the users listing the products to be banned would also be perfectly understandable.
This is what is happening with abortion pills.
Never mind that women can already buy them illegally or by skirting the law from “reputable” “women’s rights” dealers like Aid Access and Plan C. These websites don’t even try to hide what they are selling or that they encourage women to skirt the law or downright illegally buy the pills.
Never mind that abortion pill dealers on Facebook can still advertise their illegal services while APR services get banned from advertising or posting content.
Now eBay has become an outlet for illegal abortion pills, and for much cheaper than you can get them from an abortion provider.
The Daily Mail had an exclusive story showing evidence that eBay had listings for abortion pills on the site.
The pills were advertised as “pregnancy kits” since eBay does not allow prescription medication to be sold on their website.
The pills are mostly from Indian manufacturers and/or shippers and could cost as little as $20.
Additionally, these “kits” supposedly contained both mifepristone and misoprostol, which make up the abortion pill regimen in the U.S.
Two healthcare professionals weighed in on the findings: Dr. Robert Fuller, an OB-GYN from the University of Virginia, and Dr. Sachiko Ozawa, an associate Pharmacy professor at the University of North Carolina.
Dr. Fuller cautioned, “Getting these medications through alternative sources, one has to be very careful that they are not getting a fake medication…Some of the fake pills may not have safe ingredients in them.”
Dr. Ozawa pointed out that buying abortion pills like this means women are not getting any counseling before taking the drugs.
So, a woman will be left without a doctor or other healthcare provider to get in touch with should she have questions on the dose, the timing of taking the pills, or any of the side effects she may start to experience afterwards.
Abortion, according to pro-choice activists, should be something that empowers women.
But there is nothing empowering about cheaply getting medication that can severely harm you.
There is nothing empowering about being able to get medication that can kill your child and not be able to reach out to a doctor when your own life or health may be at risk.
There is no empowerment in not having correct directions for taking a prescription medication and no way of knowing if what you got is what you think you bought.
To make matters worse, with illegal listings like these, women are at risk for taking not only the wrong medication or a wrong dose, but also taking the medication when they are too far along or when they have an ectopic pregnancy, further risking their own life and health.
And there are no safeguards to prevent male partners from buying the pills themselves to slip to their pregnant partner.
Abortion pill sellers are profiting off women’s fear, shame, and socioeconomic situation. Abortion pills sellers are also profiting off abusive men’s actions.
Nothing about this situation is empowering to women and everything about it is dangerous to women and their unborn children.
The pregnancy help movement is here to help women understand they have real options — including getting factual information about abortion procedures and side effects and state laws.
For the woman who is seeking abortion because she doesn’t know how she can provide for another child, for the woman trying to cut an earthly tie to her abusive boyfriend, for the college girl worried she won’t be able to finish school or keep her scholarship — we are here for those women, and many more.
And for the woman who has taken abortion pills and regrets it, we are here for you. Reach out to the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network hotline and we will do everything we can to help you save your child and have a healthy pregnancy.
Photo by Nastya Dulhiier on Unsplash
I love science and teaching. I am passionate about using those interests to speak for those who can't.