Lynn lives in Upstate New York with her two fluffy dogs and tyrannical cat. With her writing, she hopes to make the world a better place.
Medicated Abortions On The Rise
With medicated abortions becoming a more popular method than surgical abortions, there should be more information out there about them. But the sad truth is that there just aren't enough resources for women going through this.
Take it from someone who had two medicated abortions and got the pills from a different source both times. The first time, 19-year-old me walked into Planned Parenthood because that seemed like the best option.
For privacy reasons, I opted to do the abortion at home. I felt more comfortable choosing this method. But when the clinic sent me home with some pills, two pages of information, and their phone number in case I had questions... The nerves kicked in.
Especially since I like to be prepared and know more about the process of things. Planned Parenthood tells women that they will heal in two to three days and can return to life as normal with minimal bleeding and cramps after those three days. What they don't tell you is that information is entirely false.
Even the information packet that they give you has no mention of taking a week off to properly heal and that it can take up to two weeks for the bleeding to completely stop—and that it only worsens the more active you are.
This can be extremely nerve-wracking for girls going through a process that is already mentally taxing and physically draining. I was given no information on pain management and my hope is to bring awareness to this process so that other women don't have to experience what myself and so many others have.
Controversy vs. Facts
Many of those who are uneducated will say this process is unsafe, non-regulated, and a disgrace. But the people who say that are either religious or don't understand it because they haven't taken the time to educate themselves.
It may surprise you to learn that Mifepristone and Misoprostol are both approved by the FDA and safe for use as long as used properly. It can only be used to end an unwanted pregnancy 70 days or less since the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period. If you discover you're pregnant after the 10-week mark, your only option is surgical abortion at a clinic.
In 2021, the FDA updated the regulations required for medicated abortions to make them safer:
- Mifepristone must be prescribed by or under the supervision of a certified healthcare provider who meets certain qualifications, including signing a Prescriber Agreement Form.
- The healthcare provider must obtain a signed Patient Agreement Form from the patient after counseling and prior to prescribing Mifeprex.
- Pharmacies that dispense mifepristone must be certified.
With these regulations, medicated at-home abortions can be safe, effective, and give women the privacy they desire. A website dedicated to information on "Plan C" recommends downloading a VPN to protect your privacy online and also gives women access to how to order medicated abortion pills online if you're unable to get to a clinic due to transportation or privacy reasons. The websites are discreet and typically low-cost.
It's why I chose to get my second apportion pills through Aid Access, a website available in New York state, and a few other states. If you are trying to find somewhere you can order the pills for yourself after consultation, check out Plan C's Abortion Guide by State for a comprehensive list of options.
Thinking About Having a Medicated Abortion?
Below is a list of resources and tips that can help save you during this extremely stressful time. Whether you're in the contemplating stage or you've already taken the pills, my hope is that I can provide some support for you. The decision to have an abortion is never an easy one and you have to recognize that you are not alone in this journey.
Please seek professional help if your mental or physical health is ever in question.
The first piece of advice I have is one that Aid Access and many medical professionals will recommend—but it's best not to be alone during this time. If you have someone you trust, try to keep them in the loop. Whether it's a best friend, family member, or the partner you had sex with to get pregnant.
Both of my abortions were during a 9-year relationship and it was a choice pressured upon me. If you are worried about outside sources making the decision for you, make sure to set boundaries. At the end of the day, it's YOUR CHOICE.
The second bit of advice I have is to continue doing your own research through the process and call your doctor with any questions before thinking something is detrimentally wrong. The pain is severe and can be managed by over-the-counter pain medications like Extra Strength Tylenol or Ibruprofen. Both of these saved me during this time.
You can experience light to heavy bleeding, passing large clots, throwing up, and having intense diarrhea for the first 48 hours. Then symptoms should start to lessen as the days go on.
This article by the University of San Francisco Health contains useful information.
It states that bleeding can linger for up to four weeks but, for both of mine, the clots and bleeding stopped around the two-week mark. It can worsen if you remain active and don't take the proper time off for rest and recovery.
Also, tampons are highly discouraged for the first two weeks because you want your body to pass those clots. Get large pads and underwear that you're fine with discarding.
And lastly, do not forget about your mental well-being. Set aside time to journal, watch your favorite comfort movies or shows, get snacks to munch on, and stay in contact with those who love you. Even if people in your life don't know what you just went through, stay in constant communication and try not to give yourself time to dwell.
If your thoughts worsen, contact a mental health professional online or through your doctor. They have an obligation to keep your information private.
Hopefully, some of this information eased your mind and gave you the resources to be safe. The choice is never an easy one, but the resources for your health are available if you search the right places for them.
The Overturning of Roe v. Wade
Now you may find yourself wondering: Can women still get medicated, at-home abortions even after the overturning of Roe v. Wade?
The answer is yes.
Even though roughly half the states are expected to ban or severely restrict abortion, there are still ways to safely access abortion pills by mail if you download a VPN for internet privacy.
If you live in one of the 15 states with an abortion ban, please take extreme caution and consult your trusted primary care doctor beforehand. Stay up to date with the New York Times comprehensive list of abortion laws by state. This list gets updated as the laws change in each state.
Abortion is a constitutional right that women were wrongly stripped of by those who are bitter, have outdated beliefs, and don't even have uteruses. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, removing an amendment that existed for 49 years, American women were attacked.
But the fight is not over—there is still work to be done to protect ourselves, our children, and the future of America.
Do not be disheartened.
Do not let this defeat weaken you.
The concept of "feminism" weakened Americans who believed in equal rights because we thought we were on the right path and were blinded by those in government. We cannot allow something like this to happen again.
We must stand true to our beliefs and our rights.
We must educate those who don't understand.
And, above all else, we need to stand together. There are more loving and caring people in the world than hateful ones. If we all remember that when we put on our shoes each morning to conquer the world, there's nothing we cannot obtain. Equal rights for all is a dream many have and is just on the horizon, so long as you don't falter and get discouraged.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.