A new website created by Women Help Women tells women how to perform their own abortions under what The Guardian describes as fears “that Donald Trump’s presidency poses a once-in-a-generation threat to US reproductive rights,” Milo Yiannopoulos reports.
The Guardian article states that several studies have shown many women, “particularly those living along the US-Mexico border, are using misoprostol, a miscarriage-causing drug that can be legally purchased over the counter in many Central American pharmacies.”
However, many women – according to Women Help Women spokesperson Susan Yanow – are taking misoprostol, which is illegal to administer in the US outside specific clinics, without proper instruction.
To combat this, Women Help Women has launched a website providing women with counselors who can provide real-time instructions and answers to questions surrounding the legal ramifications of conducting one’s own abortion.
The site will reportedly not offer the drug itself.
According to The Guardian, Yanow decided to launch this project “as she grappled for a way to respond to November’s election.”
“It occurred to her that Women Help Women could tailor its services to the needs of women in the US,” the article continues.
Of course, there are some legal concerns with what Yanow and Women Help Women are doing.
“This area of law is nothing if not complicated,” said the Self-Induced Abortion Legal Team’s chief strategist Jill Adams according to The Guardian.
Merely giving information is not illegal, she added – and she does not know of anyone who has been prosecuted for seeking that information.
“Still,” The Guardian writes, “it could compound the risk of prosecution.”
The piece goes on to cite Purvi Patel, a woman who received a “significant prison sentence” for inducing her own abortion after prosecutors discovered emails showing her seeking an abortion drug from overseas.
To combat this, The Guardian reports, Women Help Women has designed its system to delete conversations after seven days. The organization’s servers are also located out of the US, as are all of its counselors.
There are also health concerns.
According to The Guardian, using abortion pills improperly – “say, at a high dose in the second trimester” – can cause serious complications.
“These drugs are dangerous. They are deadly,” said Americans United for Life spokesperson Kristi Hamrick according to The Washington Post. “If they are mishandled, they result in serious injury.”
Advocates of self-induced abortions cite studies like this one from California which argues that complications as a result of taking the drugs are rare.