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Women in most of the UK can usually access abortion care easily through their doctor or a women’s health clinic. However, this isn’t always an option for everyone and growing numbers of women around the world are buying the abortion pill online, often without any medical supervision.
The main reason why women buy the abortion pill online is because they are not able to access it in other ways. It is rare for women to buy pills in this way from the UK as most are able to see a doctor instead. However, in other countries it isn’t always possible to access or to afford family planning services. One recent study found that women in the USA were turning to online pills in states that had introduced more restrictive abortion laws, including rules that increased the costs of abortions by requiring additional tests and appointments. Unfortunately, these women could be putting themselves at risk because of these laws.
The internet has opened up access to many different products and services for people who would have no other way to access them. In many cases this has been very beneficial but there are some areas in which it can be more problematic. The sale of medication online has been one of these.
Buying any kind of medication online can be very risky. One issue is that medications like the abortion pill aren’t usually available from legal sources online. This means that women can only access it from unofficial and untrustworthy sources. The pills that are available online might not be what the seller says they are or they may not be manufactured to the best standards. Women could be putting their health and lives at risk by taking these pills.
Another medical issue with taking pills that have been bought online is that many women are doing this without talking to a doctor at any point. In many cases this is because women are unable to access medical care which means that they might not be able to seek help if anything goes wrong. Taking medication without medical supervision also means that women might not be making the right choices about their care. When you visit an abortion clinic like 132 Healthwise the doctor will ask about your medical history and perform some checks to ensure that it is safe for you to take the abortion pill. If it isn’t then other options such as surgical abortion can be offered instead. Women who take the abortion pill without medical advice cannot be sure the medication is suitable for them.
Women who buy the abortion pill online without seeing a doctor are also missing out on the other advice that abortion clinics provide. The initial consultation at the clinic is a chance to discuss all your options, including continuing with the pregnancy as well as the different types of abortions. Having an abortion can be a big decision so this support and advice can be invaluable.