CV NEWS FEED // Online requests for abortion pills surged in the months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, according to research released yesterday by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and conducted at the University of Texas at Austin.
The report analyzed requests made through Aid Access, an Austrian-based nonprofit organization that mails abortion pills directly to women throughout the United States. Aid Access is a private initiative of Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, who co-authored the study.
After reviewing data from September 2021 through August 2022, researchers identified two notable surges. The first came after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was illegally leaked, and the second after the final verdict in June 2022.
Prior to the leak, the service received an average of about 83 requests per day. When the opinion draft was leaked, daily requests increased to roughly 137. Once the formal decision was released and some states enacted abortion bans, requests jumped to nearly 214 each day.
The study found that every state saw an increase, leading to a combined total of 6,533 more requests for pills in the United States during July and August.
Five of the nation’s most pro-life states – Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma – stand out as experiencing the greatest increases.
States that regulate or ban most abortions are facing a new battle: how to enforce their laws. Chemical abortions – especially when foreign companies are able to ship the drug directly to private homes – are almost impossible to monitor, either by law enforcement or by medical professionals.
“It’s basically replacing the myth of ‘back alley abortions’ with the reality of ‘toilet abortions’, where the woman is alone without a doctor or even a nurse present,” said CatholicVote Director of Government Affairs Tom McClusky. “And it’s the abortionists themselves who are pushing women back into the alley.”
Pro-abortion activists and politicians are looking to chemical abortion as a way for mothers in pro-life states to circumvent abortion legislation.
“The mantra of the Democratic Party in the 1990s was ‘safe, legal and rare,’” McClusky said.
Now, with chemical abortions, abortion promoters including the Biden administration are pushing for ‘abortion, no matter what.’ Despite chemical abortions being restricted in a number of states and declared dangerous to use by the FDA, the abortion industry is celebrating foreign entities mailing abortion pills to American citizens.
Under President Donald Trump, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tried to prevent Dr. Gomperts and Aid Access from shipping pills into the U.S., but the agency’s lawsuit was unsuccessful. According to court documents, Dr. Gomperts prescribed abortion drugs from overseas to over 7,000 American women in 2018 and 2019.
It is currently a crime to self-manage an abortion in three states — Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Nevada. Nineteen states have banned doctors from prescribing mifepristone remotely or via telehealth. It is also illegal in many states for Americans to import drugs from overseas for personal use.
But these laws are difficult to enforce and individuals are rarely prosecuted.
McClusky noted that efforts are underway to regulate the chemical abortion industry:
The Biden administration has vowed to give a wink and a nod to the illegal shipping of abortion drugs. But Republicans in Congress are planning to hold the FDA and HHS accountable – and protect the conscience rights of pharmacists who don’t want to participate in delivering these drugs of death.
The FDA recently admitted that unmonitored, at-home abortions are dangerous to mothers. “Whenever chemical abortion drugs are misused in the ways that the Biden administration, their pro-abortion allies, and Aid Access suggest, women and their babies suffer,” McClusky said.