Self-Managed Abortion: Bring Back the Power
Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP) hosted The Youth Advocacy Refresher in Mumbai on 10-12 May 2019. Youth champions from all around Asia attended this event including participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. Each country shared their experiences and strategies. We learned about abortion and sexuality; the politics of it, the political economy of safe abortion, and ethical issues. We also learned how to reach more people through social media.
In a session on Self-Managed Abortion, Amalia from Women on Web, a youth champion, introduced the story of a woman from Indonesia who had an abortion in 1984. She is a privileged woman who was living in a big city with enough money to pay for the service, surrounded by a supportive family, and personally familiar with the doctor. Despite these privileges she feels that her abortion experience is something that she doesn’t want to remember.
Yet at the time she did not have many options. Regulations stipulated that abortions be performed by a medical practitioner in a clinic setting. The decision as to whether this is acceptable abortion or not was not in women and pregnant people’s hands but was made by someone other than pregnant people. This situation is not particular to Indonesia.
However, medical abortion has changed that situation. Women and pregnant people can have an abortion by themselves in their home, privately, surrounded by their loved ones, at less cost, irrespective of their marital status or age. And most importantly, they can do it safely! Self-managed medical abortion is an alternative for woman and pregnant people who live in restricted countries and experience rape or violence. Additionally, it is a way to access safe abortion for everyone.
Mifepristone and Misoprostol can be used to induce a safe abortion; Misoprostol alone too. The WHO has confirmed the safety of medical abortion and these medicines are on the list of essential medicines. Woman and pregnant people who need a safe abortion can contact Women on Web, a telemedical service for safe medical abortion. After doing an online consultation and being without contraindications, a package containing Mifepristone and Misoprostol will be delivered to your home.
Self-managed medical abortion brings back the power to woman and pregnant people to decide what they need. It facilitates the expression of their autonomy over their own bodies. It affirms their experiences, bodies, and abilities.
The power is in your hands!