medical abortion
Overturn the Hyde Amendment!
The Hyde Amendment turns 40 on Sept. 30. This reactionary legislation mandates that if you are poor and receive your health care via Medicaid, you cannot get coverage for an abortion unless your health is endangered by the pregnancy or you were impregnated through incest or rape.

The current campaign to stop Hyde started when Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced the EACH Woman Act (Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance) last year. Calling Hyde “shameful and discriminatory,” Lee noted that “none of us, especially elected officials, should be interfering with a woman’s health care decision just because she is poor.” The bill currently has 122 sponsors.

Lee told Truthout, “Accessible, affordable reproductive healthcare is a human right. All women, no matter their income, employer or ZIP code, should be able to make the health care decisions that are right for them and their family.” (Sept. 14)

Not everyone who can become pregnant and therefore may be in need of abortion is a woman.

But otherwise, yes, I totally agree.

Women on Web is an online service that helps women in countries where abortion is restricted or illegal. The website will refer patients less than 9 weeks pregnant to a doctor who can provide them with a medical abortion.

WoW is associated with Women on Waves, an organization that sails a ship to countries where abortion is illegal. Setting anchor in international waters, Women on Waves can provide legal medical abortions on their ship. Women on Waves has sailed to Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Morocco.

Keep up with Women on Web on Facebook and Twitter.


A friend of mine had a medical abortion at Planned Parenthood this week and has been sharing a lot of the information she was presented with via Facebook in a great effort of destigmatization.

Among other things, she shared these photos of a fact sheet she was given on medical abortion, which she agreed to let me repost here for anyone who is curious.

reproductive rights issues:

  • abortion
  • birth control

also reproductive rights issues:

  • doctors performing c sections during births without informed consent
  • eugenics via sterilization requirements for trans people to change documentation
  • eugenics via forced/nonconsenting sterilization of disabled people
  • eugenics via forced/nonconsenting sterilization of people of color
  • eugenics via selective abortion of disabled people (people with Down syndrome especially) (and yes, i said people, because these are abortions sought by people who WANT to be pregnant–but only with non-disabled children)

if your reproductive rights activism doesn’t incorporate ALL OF THE ABOVE, i want no part of it.

A Woman Made A Comic Book About Abortion And It’s Awesome

“One woman is on a mission to demystify the realities of abortion – using illustrations.

Writer and artist Leah Hayes created an illustrated book, Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard, which takes readers through the thought processes of two women who choose to have abortions – one medical, the other surgical. She hopes the book will chip away at the stigma that often surrounds abortion.

"The aim of this book was to offer a calming ‘voice’ (a visual one) for women as they move through a difficult passage,” Hayes told HuffPost. “Having an abortion can be a confusing, scary, and sometimes lonely process. Writing this book was not intended to lighten the subject, define the 'right or wrong’ of the subject, or make it trivial in any way. I hope to offer a work that could make someone who had an experience with abortion feel less alone.”

Hayes is upfront about not having all of the answers, but instead wanting to “express an illustrated version of this thing that many women choose to do.”

“My intention was to say, 'Here it is, it’s hard….and I’m working out what it all means, too. And maybe in the process you will be comforted by reading this.’”

Read the full piece and see more comic panels here

15 Anti-Abortion Lies: Pro-Life Propaganda Edition

1. Abby Johnson

Propaganda: Former director of a Texas Planned Parenthood location claims she had a spiritual conversion after viewing an ultrasound. She also claims PP higher-ups sent instructions to her clinic to produce more abortions.

Truth: There are several holes in Johnson’s story.

  • It’s unlikely that Johnson became the director of a PP without ever viewing an ultrasound or seeing an abortion performed.
  • Johnson had secretly been in contact with Coalition For Life for at least several weeks before resigning from PP.
  • She had given an interview just weeks before her resignation in which she mad clear that Planned Parenthood’s surgical corporation (separate from its family planning corp) had recently received a $30 million grant from an anonymous donor, running counter to her claim that PP higher-ups needed more abortions for financial reasons.
  • She also claimed in the same interview that the Coalition For Life harassed her staff and patients and even sent death threats to her and her family. She claimed to have been targeted by 40 Days For Life just weeks prior to her resignation. Yet just a month later she’s standing side-by-side with them?

Read the whole bizarre story here.

2. Gianna Jessen

Propaganda: Claims she survived a saline abortion at approximately 30 weeks gestation and was later adopted at the age of four. Her story was the basis for the 2011 film October Baby.

Truth: Jessen’s story is riddled with holes and implausibilities.

  • It was not legal for saline abortions to be performed in California at 30 weeks gestation in 1977.
  • The age of gestation at which she was born is inconsistent between stories.
  • The story of how she learned of her mother’s attempted abortion is inconsistent between stories.
  • Her birth certificate was sealed and confidential for many years before she finally decided to release a suspiciously low-quality scan. On it, the “mother” field reads “Diana” (no surname) despite Jessen claiming that her birth mother’s name was Tina and Jessen’s adoptive mother’s name being Diana.
  • The abortion doctor is listed as Dr. Edward C. Allred, an extremely well-known boogeyman for the pro-life movement against whom protests began around the time of Jessen’s birth, 1977. It is likely that Jessen picked Dr. Allred’s name because it would be hard to disprove if a well-known and prolific doctor had signed Jessen’s particular “birth certificate.”
  • Whether and how Jessen ever met her birth mother is inconsistent between stories.
  • Jessen claimed the saline solution “burned her alive.” The 20% saline solution used in a saline abortion creates an electrolytic imbalance which causes the fetus’s heart to fail, but does not burn the fetus.
  • Jessen’s medical inaccuracies come directly out of pro-life propaganda that Jessen would have been inundated with since she was young.

I guess “Hannah” was right about one thing in October Baby:

Originally posted by exquisitegifs

Read the complete debunkings of Jessen’s ridiculous story here and here.

3. Claire Culwell

Propaganda: Claims she survived an abortion after a doctor didn’t notice there were twins in the womb.

Truth: This is patently ridiculous for multiple reasons:

  • The very earliest that an infant could possibly survive outside the womb is 22 weeks. She said her birth weight was about 3 pounds 2 ounces, which means she would have been born at at least 28 weeks. That means that this abortion must have happened at at least 26 weeks. We are expected to believe that a doctor just missed a 26+ week fetus.
  • She implies that she and her twin were sharing an amniotic sac and that the sac was torn during the abortion. She also claims she was born 2 weeks after the abortion. A fetus cannot stay inside the womb for 2 weeks after its water is broken. The pregnant person would have gone into labor.

Full breakdown here.

4. The Silent Scream

Propaganda: The Silent Scream is a 1984 propaganda film in which Bernard Nathanson, NARAL founder turned anti-abortion activist, narrates an abortion procedure and makes claims such that a 12-week fetus feels pain during an abortion, tries to “escape,” and screams in pain.

Truth: All of the anti-abortion claims in The Silent Scream have been debunked many times. [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] In short, fetuses are not neurologically capable of feeling pain or making purposeful movements at 12 weeks.

5. Baby claps to music in womb

Propaganda: A 14-week fetus is seen clapping in rhythm as its parents sing “If You’re Happy And You Know It.” YouTube commenters hate abortion.

Truth: This video was actually not designed to be propaganda–the mother uploaded it as a pregnancy announcement. The physician in the video is rewinding the tape several times to make it appear as if the fetus is keeping tempo. As noted in the last item, fetuses cannot make purposeful movements at such an early gestational age. Further, six-month-old infants cannot clap in time to a beat; believing that a 14-week fetus can do so is just absurd.

6. Baby dances in womb

Propaganda: This and many other videos purport to show fetuses dancing in the womb. YouTube commenters believe anything.

Truth: Again, an 11-week fetus can’t make purposeful movements, and even a six-month-old infant can’t dance to a beat. Pro-lifers who take these videos seriously are giving fetuses developmental capabilities that even born babies don’t have. Come on y’all.

7. Those photos of “aborted fetuses” you see everywhere

Propaganda: A number of pro-life groups plaster graphic photos of what they claim are the mutilated remains of “aborted fetuses” all over the place because they have so much respect for those fetuses’ lives.

Truth: These photos have an extremely shady history–many have been obtained either after being shipped on a boat from an unknown source or by going overseas. Many of the “aborted fetuses” portrayed in the photos are actually miscarriages or stillbirths. For example, the fetus Carly Fiorina colorfully described in one Republican debate was actually discovered to be a stolen picture of a stillbirth. In 1992, one member of anti-choice coalition Operation Rescue even attended an anti-abortion rally holding a dead fetus that he claimed had been aborted, though it was later discovered to be a 20-week stillbirth.

The people sharing these photos also frequently lie about the gestational age of the pictured fetus, the origins of the photograph in question (graphic content), and the conditions by which it was obtained and photographed. For instance, the photographs of Baby Malachi, the literal poster child of the anti-abortion movement, were taken after it had been left outside the freezer for a month and had decomposed significantly. It’s also likely Malachi was a miscarriage or stillbirth anyway (graphic content).

These links discuss the sources and false labeling of other famous anti-abortion fetus pictures (graphic content): [x] [x] [x]

8. 2011: Planned Parenthood covers up child sex trafficking

Propaganda: In 2011, twelve actors in six states went to Planned Parenthood undercover as pimps trying to get abortions for their underage sex trafficking victims. The actors, hired by Live Action, secretly recorded video of the interactions, and the videos were then edited and published online. Live Action claimed the videos show Planned Parenthood covers up child sex trafficking.

Truth: Planned Parenthood had, in fact, alerted federal authorities about a potential multi-state sex trafficking ring before Live Action’s first video was released. The videos were also heavily edited (as you will see is a pattern for these type of videos), which means Live Action manipulated the footage to make it says whatever they wanted it to say. On another note, one of the people behind the videos, James O’Keefe, is also the criminal behind the infamous ACORN videos, edited videos that depicted ACORN employees behaving unethically. A review of the full footage by the Congressional Research Service cleared ACORN of any wrongdoing.

9. 2013: Abortion clinics commit infanticide

Propaganda: In 2013, Live Action sent actors pretending to seek abortions for late-term pregnancies to several different clinics. The actors were instructed to ask what would happen if the babies were born alive. The actors secretly recorded the interactions, and the videos were then edited and published online. Live Action claimed the videos show abortion clinics commit infanticide.

Truth: For an excellent breakdown of how these videos are manipulated to make them say what anti-abortion activists want them to say, watch the video embedded in this Slate article. In short, the video editors left out all of the clinic workers explaining that an infant being born alive after an abortion literally never happens and then selectively edited a proposed hypothetical to make it seem like clinic workers approve of murdering babies. Live Action has released several other undercover video “stings” that all turned out to be doctored.

10. 2015: Planned Parenthood sells baby parts

Propaganda: In 2015, David Daleiden, acquaintance of Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, sent undercover actors posing as fetal tissue collectors into several Planned Parenthood clinics to ask about the clinic workers’ tissue donation practices. The actors secretly recorded the interactions, and the videos were then edited and published online. The Center For Medical Progress claimed the videos show Planned Parenthood sells baby parts.

Truth: The videos have been fact-checked countless times [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x]  and demonstrated to be heavily doctored to promote false claims. In short, fetal tissue donation is perfectly legal with the pregnant person’s consent, and Planned Parenthood was simply seeking reimbursement for the costs of storing and transporting the tissue (a practice that now, thanks to the doctored videos, it has had to stop). The videos’ claims were so unfounded that a grand jury in Texas, of all places, not only exonerated PP of all charges but instead indicted the creators of the videos for tampering with a government record.

11. Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Propaganda: Pro-life groups have set up over 2,500 centers that give out free ultrasounds and information about crisis pregnancy options, including abortion.

Truth: CPC’s are run by volunteers from Christian churches with no medical training with the purpose of telling pregnant people lies about abortion. Some common lies include that abortion causes breast cancer; abortion causes infertility; abortion can lead to “post-abortion syndrome”; abortion can lead to child abuse; abortion is much more dangerous than childbirth; the IUD is an abortifacient; birth control pills produce “mini-abortions”; and condoms have holes and don’t work. One CPC even told a woman here IUD was a baby.

There are multiple blogs dedicated to calling out CPC’s: [x] [x]

12. State-mandated abortion counseling

Propaganda: Thirty-eight states require pregnant people to attend state-mandated pre-abortion counseling. This counseling claims to inform pregnant people of all the facts about abortion.

Truth: This counseling is designed to discourage pregnant people from getting abortions. Many of these states require that physicians give medically inaccurate information about abortion. For example, the Texas state booklet “A Woman’s Right To Know” includes the following biased or inaccurate info:

  • Refers to embryo or fetus as “the unborn child”
  • Reports that at 16-18 weeks the fetus begins to move, but doesn’t note that these are reflexive and not purposeful movements
  • Reports that “some experts” believe “the unborn child is probably able to feel pain.” This notion has been debunked.
  • Exaggerates the risk of becoming infertile after an abortion
  • Recommends getting pre- and post-abortion counseling at a crisis pregnancy center and includes a directory of CPC’s
  • “While there are studies that have found an increased risk of developing breast cancer after an induced abortion, some studies have found no overall risk. There is agreement that this issue needs further study.” No, there isn’t.
  • Includes this quote regarding D&X procedures: “Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and the Physician’s Ad Hoc Coalition for Truth stated in 1996 that this type of procedure ‘… is never medically necessary to protect a mother’s health or her future fertility. On the contrary, this procedure can pose a significant threat to both.’”
  • Makes depression sound like the inevitable result of abortion and only a possibility after giving birth, despite there being no connection between abortion and mental health problems, while 10-20% of those who give birth experience post-partum depression.

Perhaps the most interesting false fact perpetrated by state-mandated pro-life propaganda is that Arizona physicians are required to inform patients that medical abortion is reversible. This is outrageously untrue. Six states unconstitutionally require that pregnant people be told personhood begins at conception.

13. Pro-life propaganda websites

Propaganda: Most abortion-related google searches will result in websites like Abort73, Operation Rescue, LifeSiteNews, LifeNews, and many, many others purporting to tell you facts about abortion.

Truth: The vast majority of websites trying to tell you about abortion are pro-life websites that push the same kind of untruthful crap as the rest of the items on this list. Some of the most common include,, AbortionInformation,net,, and almost any website with the word “life” in the URL. As an example, frequently encourages you to call the number 713-263-8400, which is run by the Foundation For Life in Houston, Texas. It also frequently links to the booklet “A Woman’s Right To Know,” which we discussed in the previous item. The “Fetal Development” page includes the photograph of a supposed 6-week embryo that was debunked at this link from earlier in my post (graphic content). It also includes a “testimonial” from Dr. Paul E. Rockwell which has been used on every pro-life website in existence, but which has been debunked as impossible.

The problem with these websites is that most abortion-related searches produce 7-8 top results from these websites. For example, if I google “abortion facts,” 7 of the top 10 results are from pro-life websites. Pro-lifers try to flood Google with their fake “facts” in order to make them seem more legitimate. It’s propaganda by SEO. If you’re not careful, you might even get caught using a propaganda website’s chart in a Congressional hearing.

14. The label “pro-life”

Pro-lifers have definitively shown that they are not concerned with protecting life, not even embryonic or fetal life. Their whole goal is to control pregnant people’s bodies. That’s it.

15. “April’s Mom’s” baby blog

An anti-abortion woman blogged about having a terminally ill fetus for several months. It turns out that it was all an elaborate hoax. Whoops!

Originally posted by taylor-takes-a-tumble
College Students Are Demanding Abortion Access on Campus | Broadly
Students at UC Berkeley recently proposed that medical abortions should be available on campus. Despite the fact that nearly half of college-aged women will get an abortion, very few colleges offer these services.

“"Medication abortion has been used globally for nearly 40 years, and is safer than Tylenol, Flonase, Zithromax, or even Viagra,“ said Kaylie Hanson, the national communications director for NARAL Pro-Choice America. "With this bill, these students are taking an important step toward recognizing that medication abortion is an important part of the full range of reproductive health services and when women have access to it, they’re better able to take control of their own health care."”

215 women in Northern Ireland have signed an open letter declaring they have broken the law on abortion and sent it to the public prosecution service

“In an open letter sent to the public prosecution service, 215 women said they have either taken abortion pills themselves or helped women procure them – which is illegal according to Northern Ireland’s strict abortion laws.”

“The letter comes in response to a court case which began in Belfast last week (19 June 2015), which saw a mother in her thirties accused of supplying ‘poison’ (known abortion pills Mifepristone and Misoprostol) for her daughter to have a miscarriage.”

“The woman – who cannot be named to ensure her daughter’s identity is protected - faces two charges of unlawfully procuring a medical abortion medicine, known for its use in terminating pregnancies.”

“The ongoing case is extremely rare in Northern Ireland, and led pro-choice group Alliance For Choice to release the open letter.”

“Goretti Horgan, one of the signatories, explained: 

“It’s the first time, to our knowledge, that someone has actually gone past preliminary enquiry for assisting an abortion.”

“It’s unfair because hundreds of women have been doing it for years.”

“We thought the only way to get this message across was to tell the truth which is that hundreds and hundreds of women in Ireland have done exactly this. If it’s not for themselves, they do it for daughters, nieces, sisters and friends.”

“Abortion is legal in Northern Ireland, but only if a woman can prove her life is at risk.”

“Women are unable to have legal abortions if they are victims of rape or incest, given a diagnosis of foetal abnormality, or their health is at risk from pregnancy.”

“Around 4,000 women … leave the country to seek abortions elsewhere each year.”

“Many more order ‘illegal’ pills online from websites such as Women on Web which provide World Health Organisation-approved abortion pills, such as Mifepristone and Misoprostol.”

“But in Northern Ireland, helping others take these pills carries the risk of a lengthy jail sentence, and the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act carries a penalty of life imprisonment for women who have illegal abortions.”

“Horgan, who has helped women procure abortion pills by letting them use her credit card and address, said that the letter’s signatories want to “join the woman in the dock” and will start handing themselves in to the police if no action is taken.”

“We hope that some of us will be arrested, if not all of us.”

“They should be prosecuting all of us.”

“Detective Superintendent Andrea McMullan said: 

“Police are aware of the letter and are assessing its contents.

“Abortion is a very emotive issue and as police our role is to uphold the law. It would depend on the specific circumstances of an incident as to whether or not an offence has been committed and each case would be investigated on its own merit.”

“Police would remind the public not to take prescription drugs that have not been prescribed to them. The taking of any prescription drug is potentially harmful if used without appropriate medical supervision.” 

“Suzanne Lee, a 25-year-old from Belfast, previously spoke to Telegraph Wonder Women about illegally buying abortion pills when she was a 22-year-old student at University College Dublin.”

“She said the idea of being arrested for her abortion has crossed her mind, especially since she’s spoken out publicly about it and now helps women in the Republic of Ireland buy abortion pills online.”

“It’s illegal for me to help.” 

“It wouldn’t be great to go to prison. But at the same time I’d rather have that hanging over me than wondering whether women are going to drink bleach, or throw themselves down the stairs.”

"I don’t think the Government has the guts to bring charges against me.”

'Arrest us’: Northern Irish women want to be prosecuted for breaking abortion laws (The Telegraph)


A Woman Made A Comic Book About Abortion And It’s Awesome

One woman is on a mission to demystify the realities of abortion – using illustrations.

Writer and artist Leah Hayes created an illustrated book, Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard, which takes readers through the thought processes of two women who choose to have abortions – one medical, the other surgical. She hopes the book will chip away at the stigma that often surrounds abortion.

Read on for how this revolutionary feminist comic ends here. 

Pro-life people weren’t there for me when I was hauled off to the ER during a Chorale rehearsal, my heart pounding at 160 BPM just to keep my blood flowing because I was so dehydrated.

Pro-life people didn’t offer to help pay my hospital bills and help me gain access to the IV nutrition and anti-nausea meds that might have allowed me to carry to term had I not miscarried.

Pro-life people do not care that I vomited a dozen (or more) times a day for 5 weeks straight. They’ve told me on several dozen occasions, when I share my story, that a “real” mother would have died rather than even consider abortion.

Pro-life people don’t care that I actually miscarried - they tell me that I’m still a murderer because I didn’t die for my “child.”

Pro-life people tell me that I just had “morning sickness” and that I should get my tubes tied since I couldn’t handle being pregnant.

Pro-life people did not help me when I vomited and vomited and continued to vomit until there was nothing left but bile and blood from the broken vessels in my esophagus.

Pro-choice people at Planned Parenthood took me under their care, gave me antibiotics when I miscarried, gave me another ultrasound to make sure that I hadn’t retained any tissue, and enabled me to get a prescription for birth control pills rather than continuing to use condoms and risk having another one break.

Pro-life people are there every time I go to Planned Parenthood for pap smears and birth control. They curse at me, tell me that I’m going to Hell, wave around their signs full of pictures of aborted fetuses, and threaten all of the other “sluts” and “whores” who go there, no matter what the reason.
Bernie Sanders: ‘Family values’ is Republican code for ‘let’s control women’s bodies’
At a rally in Littleton, New Hampshire on Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took aim at a longstanding Republican talking point, "family values." "Many of my Republican colleagues who come through New Hampshire and Iowa and so forth," said the

At a rally in Littleton, New Hampshire on Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took aim at a longstanding Republican talking point, “family values.”

“Many of my Republican colleagues who come through New Hampshire and Iowa and so forth,” said the 2016 Democratic nomination hopeful in video shot by Holly Owsianik, “they often talk about family values.”

“They just loooove families,” he quipped. “But all of you know what they mean by family values. And what they mean by family values is that the women of this country should not have the right to control their own bodies. I disagree.”

“What they mean by family values is that women are not smart enough to be able to purchase the contraceptives they need,” he continued. “I disagree.”

“And furthermore, what they mean by family values is that our gay brothers and sisters should not be able to get married or enjoy the other benefits of the American legal system. I disagree,” said Sanders as the crowd at the Littleton Opera House cheered uproariously.

He said of his family and campaign, “We believe in strong families, but our view’s just a little bit different than our Republican friends.”

“When we talk about family values,” he said, “what we mean is the United States should end the international embarrassment of being the only major country on Earth that does not guarantee family and medical leave to all of our families.”

Bernie’s right.

h/t: David Ferguson at The Raw Story

For example, if someone is having a miscarriage and experiencing the loss of a desired pregnancy, it would be inappropriate for me to say to them: “You’re medically and clinically stable and have had a complete spontaneous abortion.” That is what I might say to a colleague, but to the patient I would say, “I am so sorry you are experiencing this loss. You are safe and though this will be a difficult time for you and your family, you will be well and able to try again in the future if and when you are ready.” Neither of these statements is more or less genuine than the other; they are just different ways of conveying the same facts in the best way for different situations.

I hate to do this again (asking for money like this cause I know there are more deserving people out there), but I can not have, raise, take care of a child. I only have a part time job, and currently living with my extremely disabled father and his disabled wife in Washington. While I do have insurance, they don’t cover abortions.$100k for my sister to have a baby? Sure, no problem. Me, who needs to get rid of a clump of cells? Nope, no can do, no help for me.

So like i said, while i hate to be needy and ask complete strangers for help with this situation, i don’t really have any other choice. So if you can help, please do. If not, at least reblog this please as I only have a few weeks until it’s too late.

Please and thank you.

Can an herbal supplement give me an abortion?

Someone asked us:

Is it true that [insert herb] can be used as an abortifacient?

Sometimes people try to give themselves an abortion, and there are different ways to do that. But most herbal treatments don’t work, and other chemicals, medicines, and drugs that you don’t get from a nurse or doctor can be unsafe.

Abortions provided by licensed and trained doctors or nurses, like the ones at Planned Parenthood health centers, are the safest, most effective, and only legal option. If having an abortion in the privacy of your own home is important to you, check out the abortion pill (AKA medication abortion).

If you’ve tried to give yourself an abortion, it’s really important to get medical care and make sure everything’s OK. The staff at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center can make sure you’re healthy, and talk with you about your options.

-Amy at Planned Parenthood