Abortion How-To: The Ms. Q&A on Menstrual Extraction With Carol Downer

Before Roe v. Wade, one of the ways women bypassed the medical system to get necessary abortions was a technique feminists called “menstrual extraction,” using a syringe, flexible plastic tubing and a mason jar to extract the contents of the uterus.

Ms. spoke with activist Carol Downer about her experiences teaching people to perform menstrual extractions and how the procedure could help post-Roe.

“How in the world can that Supreme Court sit up there and deny this thing to us? How can they get away with that? You can guarantee that Amy Coney Barrett has not seen her own cervix.”

Abortion Pill FAQs: Get the Facts About Medication Abortion

The release of the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning abortion rights has left many people wondering about continued access to abortion. Reproductive rights advocates have been working hard to create an infrastructure of information and support for accessing and using abortion pills, no matter what happens when the Supreme Court issues its final ruling.

Here’s an easy guide to information about abortion pills.

Kelly’s Story: Overcoming S.B. 8 and a ‘Crisis Pregnancy Center’ to Have an Abortion in Texas

Through ingenuity, persistence and a little luck, some Texans are wading through the state’s six-week abortion ban and a sea of anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” to find abortion healthcare in a safe and affordable way. Kelly is one of them.

“My heart goes out to those women who feel like they have no choice and they get swindled into this. I really want to prevent that from happening. … I’m telling my story because I had no idea about these ‘pregnancy health clinics.’ Women should not feel obligated to keep a pregnancy. I don’t think those women at CPCs should be saying, ‘Oh, I’m here to help women.’ They’re not helping if they’re making women feel bad for their decisions, period.”

Online Abortion Care Provider Hanna Kim of Hey Jane: ‘Everything Is Done in Your Own Time’

Hey Jane provides medication abortion for anyone who is at least 18 years old, medically eligible, up to 10 weeks pregnant, and located in New York, California, Washington, Illinois, Colorado or New Mexico.

“Doctor’s appointments can be very difficult to get. With Hey Jane, we can get medication to patients in like a day.” Hanna Kim, lead nurse for Hey Jane, told Ms. “Patients feel really cared for. I remember one email that said, ‘I felt like I was talking to a mom or a sister who had all the answers.'”

Dr. April Lockley Answers Your Questions About Abortion Pills: ‘To Protect Each Other As Much As We Can’

The Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline (M+A Hotline) was founded in 2019 by two primary care physicians who knew people were self-managing their abortions at home but often had questions and would go to the internet looking for answers. Dr. April Lockley is a family medicine physician in New York City and medical director of the M+A Hotline (1-833-246-2632).

“Since the beginning of time, people and communities have taken care of themselves without going to the doctor because of how the system is set up. It’s inequitable. It’s racist. And so people have always taken care of themselves. We’re a support to say, ‘This process is going as it should.'”

Online Abortion Provider Razel Remen: ‘Telemedicine Abortion Is Safe and Reliable’

As we await the fate of Roe, Ms.’s “Online Abortion Provider” series will spotlight the wide range of new telemedicine abortion providers springing up across the country in response to the recent removal of longstanding FDA restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone.

Dr. Razel Remen, an independent abortion provider in Detroit, provides telemedicine abortion for people in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota and New York. She offers medication abortion pills to people 14 and older through 11 weeks of pregnancy. “If I had not done my residency in Alabama, I would not have become an abortion provider. It made me realize that lack of access to abortion not only negatively impacted individual people, but also their families and communities.”

Telemedicine Abortion Provider Rebecca Gomperts Gets Abortion Pills Into the Hands of Those Who Need Them: ‘It’s a Privilege’

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, Dutch physician and medication abortion pioneer, has a long history of working to provide abortion pills in countries with barriers to abortion healthcare. Whether through the mail, on a ship or via drone, Gomperts has continued to find creative ways to get pills into the hands of those who need them.

“It’s really a privilege to be able to do it. It’s empowering for me, as well as for the people using the service. And it’s also empowering for the doctors to join the service. I think everybody really feels very excited about it.”

Telemedicine Abortion Provider Alison Case: “Helping People in Texas Access Abortion Care”

As we await the fate of Roe v. Wade, Ms.’s “Online Abortion Provider” series will spotlight the wide range of new telemedicine abortion providers springing up across the country in response to the recent removal of longstanding FDA restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone. One such provider is Dr. Alison Case, a family medicine doctor in Indiana. After Texas banned most abortions last year and Texans began flooding into New Mexico for abortion health care, Whole Woman’s Health offered Case the opportunity to provide telemedicine abortion to patients in New Mexico.

“We should make sure people have their own autonomy in making decisions for themselves about when to have a family and when not to have a family. These are really basic things. If we can’t get those services to people in person, then it’s great that we can offer them virtually. Particularly in the case of Texas, where we know there’s a whole state where people are not able to access care.”