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If a woman takes the wrong drug or the wrong dosage, particularly too late in pregnancy, she is likely to wind up in the emergency room, bleeding.
Americans should care what happens under Latin American abortion bans not just for the sake of the women who live there but also because they provide a glimpse of what could be our future.
The fight over abortion includes the passing of laws intended to restrict access. Wade legalized abortion, states have enacted more than 1,200 anti-abortion laws — more if one counts federal regulations such as the Trump administration’s recent decision to deny family planning funds to organizations that provide abortions.
Historically, as well as in most countries today, abortion prosecutions typically target the doctor.
This practice is endorsed by today’s anti-abortion movement, which regularly proclaims that women are abortion’s “second victims,” deserving compassion rather than punishment. When no doctor is involved, the woman who uses abortion drugs might seem less like a “second victim” and more like a criminal.
In Brazil, where abortion is all but banned, experts estimate there are about a million illegal abortions each year; around half of them are induced using abortion drugs.
Efforts to restrict access to misoprostol will fail not simply because it costs pennies to make, but also because it saves lives.Rather than ending abortion, criminalizing abortion will merely create new ways in which the state can intensify the misery of the poorest among us.declared the procedure a “fundamental right” on Jan. Proponents, identifying themselves as pro-choice, contend that choosing abortion is a woman’s right that should not be limited by governmental or religious authority, and which outweighs any right claimed for an embryo or fetus.The world of illegal abortion today looks nothing like the way it did 45 years ago.When I first visited Chile, in 2008, it was one of a handful of countries in the world that banned abortion in all cases, without exception.Knowing all of this — that banning abortion will not make it go away and that without doctors to charge, law enforcement will wind up targeting the poorest, most marginalized women — our battle over legalized abortion seems misguided.The rise of abortion drugs simply throws into sharper relief what we have always known: Abortions rates are driven not by legality but by economics.The most widely available abortion drug in Latin America, misoprostol, is commonly used to treat ulcers.Although less effective than the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol used in the United States, misoprostol taken in the first trimester causes an abortion in approximately 90 percent of cases.Given that hundreds of women a year died from botched illegal abortions in the United States before Roe v.Wade, which legalized the procedure in 1973, I expected to find hospitals in Chile overflowing with dying women.