Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How commonly do US abortion patients report attempts to self-induce?

An interesting abstract:

OBJECTIVE: This study measures the extent to which women who access clinical abortion services in the United States report having ever used misoprostol or other substances to self-induce.

STUDY DESIGN: A random sample of 107 US abortion providers was asked to distribute questionnaires to abortion patients.

RESULTS: Information was gathered from 9493 patients at 95 facilities, and weights were constructed to make the data nationally representative of all US abortion patients. Only 1.2% of women obtaining abortions report having ever used misoprostol on their own to "bring back" their period or end a pregnancy. A similarly small proportion of women, 1.4%, reported using other substances, such as vitamin C or herbs, to attempt to end a pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: Media reports of self-induced abortions using misoprostol may be exaggerated [exaggeration from the media! No! Can't be!], but further research is needed to estimate the incidence of self-induced abortion among women who do not access clinical abortion services.

What I want to know is: how many of them suffered irreversible harm or died? Would these providers have known about them? Hm....

It might seem paradoxical, but safe black-market abortions might make it easier to pass abortion legislation. If people think women are not going to die due to abortion legislation, it might make it easier to make a case to protect the fetus.