On Sunday, the Texas Tribune reported that a growing number of people in that state seeking abortions are looking to Mexico for chemical abortifacients in the form of a potent medication – not prescribed on its own in the U.S. to terminate pregnancies – called misoprostol. According to the Tribune article, the World Health Organization has stated that even on its own, the drug can be an effective method for medically inducing abortion when used properly. Unfortunately, the proper method for the use of misoprostol to induce abortion is not widely known in the border communities affected, which results in a variety of health risks.
From an access perspective, the recent uptick in such a practice seems to be the logical result of recent cuts and restrictions on public health services, including reproductive health and domestic violence services, in the state of Texas. Other states – especially red border states – can learn from this story in the fight for reproductive justice. It may seem far-fetched to prepare to distribute facts on proper use of misoprostol to possible affected communities, but if state TRAP legislation continues to pass, such education may be necessary to prevent injury or illness. Ideally, community reaction to such a trend will be mostly to increase knowledge of and access to safe, legal, affordable, and discreet abortion services through hotlines and abortion funds.
The people using misoprostol, also widely used in Mexico due to poor reproductive health access, are mostly poor Latino-Americans living in sparsely-populated areas near the southern border of the United States. This story will probably not be widely covered because it has yet to affect urban middle-class white Americans, and I sincerely hope that the big state to the south can stave off further increases in the practice. I highly recommend reading the original article from the Tribune and checking in on Robin Marty’s coverage of the story.
Pearl is making two pizzas tonight, just try and stop her