Can’t find a standing abortion clinic? No problem, as various alternatives to the standard brick and mortar abortion clinics in the United States are being used and promoted. Emily Bazelon wrote in last week’s New York Times that the abortion industry is transitioning to new models to provide abortions which include a boat anchored in international waters off Dublin, Ireland; border town flea markets in Texas; a businessman in India; and a storefront in rural Iowa.
Referred to as D-I-Y (do-it-yourself) abortions, Bazelon discusses the details of this plan in the article titled “The Dawn of the Post-Clinic Abortion.” It is largely a profile piece on Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch general-practice physician who launched an “Abortion Ship” and sailed it to the coast of Ireland in 2001 stocked with abortion pills (RU 486 and the prostaglandin misoprostol). The plan was to have women ferried out to the ship for their abortion pills. Rebuked by Ireland, Gomperts tried Poland and later, Portugal. It is unclear whether any abortions were performed on the “Abortion Ship” but she received sensational publicity.
Gomperts’s program set up hotlines in countries like Chile, Argentina, Peru, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Morocco where abortion is not legal, telling women where they could get abortion pills and how to self-abort. She then established a website where women from all over the world could request an abortion and have pills shipped from a manufacturer in India.
Although Gomperts targeted countries where abortion is not legal, her radical ideas have caught the attention of pro-abortion activists in the United States. They see this as an opportunity to provide access abortion pills to keep abortion available even when clinics close their doors.
Randy O’Bannon, Education Director for the National Right to Life Committee, notes the progression: “From a multi-step, highly supervised regimen that was recommended by the FDA when it approved use of the chemical abortifacients RU 486/prostaglandin combination in September of 2000; to fewer trips to the abortionist’s office (not coming back to take the prostaglandin in his office); to so-called ‘webcam-abortions’ where the abortionist never even sees the woman in person; to advertising how a woman can avoid a physician’s involvement all together.”
Are prescriptions for over-the-counter abortions the next step for DIY abortions? Two abortion activists are already arguing for it, calling it Plan C. They hope to mimic the success of Plan B which a federal judge said had to be made available to women over the counter to women of all ages.
O’Bannon asks what will happen to women who do DIY abortions? Who will be there when they suffer the complications of the abortion drugs. Who will handle their grief? Will the mothers be abandoned in the same way the child has?
It is alarming to see how far the abortion activists will go to help a woman get rid of her child.