Australian women are now able to order abortion pills online to terminate their pregnancy without ever having to visit their doctor or pharmacist.
The Tabbot Foundation is now offering a clinical assessment over the phone, up until the woman is 9 weeks pregnant. Then the patient only needs to go for a blood test and ultra-sound to be eligible to order the pills online.
If it is approved the company then sends out the drug direct to the woman. The drug blocks the hormone that is crucial in keeping the pregnancy process going. The company also sends out painkillers and anti-nausea pills for a cost of $250.
After the termination, the patient has the option of tapping into the 24 hour on-call doctor along with a blood test to confirm the abortion after ten days.
A Tabbot Foundation spokesman said that they thought this new process was appropriate for a medical condition such as this because the patient doesn’t need to be examined. They also suggested it may help with the negative stigma around abortion and make it more accessible for women living in rural areas.
I can only imagine it would take away the anxiety and intimidation the women may feel walking into an abortion clinic. Although the stats aren’t collected nationally on abortion around Australia – there is a rough estimate of 70-80,000 aborted pregnancies a year. Therefore, assuming approximately one in every 50 pregnancies are terminated.
If I’m being honest, I had mixed feelings when I heard this news. Part of me felt this is a step forward for many women who have fallen pregnant under horrific circumstances to have some form of control and security in knowing they can do this from their own homes. Of course it’s also a step forward for women in areas where abortion clinics aren’t available.
But I also wonder about the welfare of the women who are seeking this service. Are they safe? Do they need more support than just a phone call? There is often more to the story, right? How do we really know these women are okay? The words they speak on the phone could look very different when they say them in person with someone looking them in the eye.
We don’t know these women’s stories, nor do we have the right to know their stories. But I do hope this still leaves an open door for women who need more support than just a phone call.
How do you feel about the abortion pill?