The Atlantic (10/18/2018) reported that a European abortion pill provider that has not previously shipped to the United States has quietly begun sending the abortion pill to this country. The organization, Women on Web, based in the Netherlands, has been shipping the pill to women around the world for years, often illegally. It sells the drugs under the name Aid Access for about $95.
Rebecca Gomperts, the founder of Women on Web and Aid Access, plans to fill the prescriptions for American women herself. She sends the prescriptions to a pharmacy in India which then ships the drugs to the U.S. She began her business to the U.S. six months ago and has already sent pills to 600 women. Over the past year, Women on Web have received approximately 1,000 emails each month from the United States. Gomperts calls the distribution of the abortion pill to American women her “moral obligation.”
Following online consultations, Aid Access facilitates abortions as long as the pregnancies are less than nine weeks. It is unclear how the company ensures that a woman is in the early stages of pregnancy, as women can mistake how far along they are if they don’t know the date of their last period.
Gomperts is available for video-conferences or phone calls but she is not available to help women who experience complications. Her group does not provide ultrasounds which can tell how far along a woman is in her pregnancy and can also detect potentially life-threatening complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy.
Oregon is one of four states taking part in a program to study the “feasibility” of abortion by mail by having women induce their own abortions at home following a short video conference with an abortion provider. Other states in the study are Washington, New York, and Hawaii.
“Handing out deadly drugs through the mail is a disaster waiting to happen. We know that women have died using chemical abortion drugs and that how far along a woman’s pregnancy is or where it is can be a life or death issue. Risking women’s lives to make a political point and a quick profit makes no sense, and we sadly anticipate horror stories when, inevitably, something goes wrong. Women deserve better,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.
The deadly abortion drug cocktail contains mifepristone (which blocks the action of progesterone, starving the baby to death) and misoprostol (which causes contractions which expel the unborn baby’s body).
Even though the overall number of abortions has been declining in the U.S., chemical abortions grew from six percent of non-hospital abortions in 2001 to 31 percent in 2014, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. In 2014, 45 percent of abortions before nine weeks gestation were induced by the abortion pill.
According the FDA, 22 women have died since the agency approved the drug in 2000. Dozens have died worldwide. Thousands of women have been injured by the drug. Harmful side effects of an RU 486 abortion can include severe cramping, hemorrhaging, allergic reactions, infection, psychological trauma, and incomplete abortion requiring surgical abortion. Planned Parenthood has admitted that at least one woman is seriously injured from the abortion pill each day.
Gomperts claims the drugs are safe but, ironically, tells women customers that it is “absolutely necessary” to live within an hour of a hospital “in case you lose too much blood.” Hemorrhaging is a complication of the drug. The site also counsels women to lie if they do start experiencing complications by claiming they are having a miscarriage. This puts women at risk by encouraging them to hide information from doctors.
Gomperts is concerned that pro-life groups will try to shut down her organization. Women on Web mails out about 9,000 abortion pill packages each year.
The Federal Drug Administration is investigating the Women on Web website because it is concerned about safeguards. It announced in mid-October that it was evaluating the situation “to assess potential violations of U.S. law,” as mifepristone may not be sold over the internet in the U.S.
Americans United for Life president and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster called Gomperts’ business “reckless and irresponsible.” She said that her organization is looking into ways to stop Aid Access and is exploring the possibility of Congressional intervention to protect women.