International 'safe abortions by mail' service can now ship to women in US

International 'safe abortions by mail' service can now ship to women in US
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A group that has long provided medication to help women induce abortions at home in countries where abortion is outlawed is now shipping to the U.S.

Women on Web, which has been determined to be safe by a number of studies, according to The Atlantic, operates an online service to ship misoprostol and mifepristone pills to pregnant people worldwide. Taken together, the two medications are about 97 percent effective in inducing abortion within the first trimester.

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But Women on Web's founder, Rebecca Gomperts, is starting a new service, called Aid Access, to ship to American women.

According to the outlet, the service will screen women to determine whether they can take the pills. Gomperts, a Dutch physician, will fill the prescriptions herself and send them through an Indian pharmacy directly to customers’ homes in the U.S. She also noted that the service will try to help women cover the cost of shipping if they cannot afford the service, which is $95.

Women on Web did not operate in the U.S., Gomperts told the magazine, because she worried that anti-abortion protesters in the U.S. would try to shut down the organization.

Anti-abortion activists have argued that the pills are not safe, though doctors have said otherwise. The World Health Organization also recognizes the type of service Gomperts provides as a safe and effective option for women.

Gomperts told The Atlantic that as abortion becomes more difficult to access in the U.S. due to new restrictions in states, she has been swamped with requests from women hoping to use her service.

She said that she has sent pills to about 600 women since launching the new service six months ago. Gomperts has kept Aid Access under wraps for its first months, but now says that she hopes her work inspires others to establish similar services.

“I hope I will be the first of many others so I won’t be in a situation where I can’t deal with the amount of requests,” she told The Atlantic.