Women on Waves and Misoprostol

Why don't we all know about Misoprostol, this drug that induces safe abortions and is often sold over the counter for gastric ulcers? I never heard about this non-prescription drug until today. Perhaps it is even less well known than the morning-after pill for which a prescription is needed?
Just read an on-line article about Women on Waves, a Dutch non-profit that provides not only information about this drug, but sails its boat to countries where abortion is illegal and then offers abortions and information about Misoprostol to women - after sailing back into international waters. Now there is an organization to support.

A few paragraphs from the article by Clare Glass titled "How a Group of Women Sails Past Countries' Restrictions on  Reproductive Rights":


“A woman does not need a doctor to put a pill under her tongue, or to put four pills under her tongue,” Gomperts said. “Women have miscarriages by themselves in rural areas without a doctor all the time...
"WoW cannot operate in the U.S. due to strict FDA regulations, but it’s no surprise that the U.S. WoW helpdesk consistently receives calls from desperate women. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in the first half of 2011, 162 new provisions were set in motion regarding reproductive rights in the U.S. Nearly half aim to limit abortion access. As it stands, American women can get medical abortions with Mifepristone and Misoprostol through Planned Parenthood. But legality does not equal accessibility...
"In many countries where abortion is illegal, women can still purchase Misoprostol from a pharmacy for as little as $1 in Pakistan, for instance, and $12 in Morocco. Gomperts said it might ultimately be easier for women in Africa to terminate their pregnancies than women in Missouri where abortion is technically legal. This is not to say that the struggle for reproductive rights is easier for women outside the U.S., but rather, that in countries with less regulation, side-stepping the law is simpler and safer in this case.
"Julia Ellis-Kahana, a rising senior at Brown University, has been working as Gomperts’ assistant since October. Ellis-Kahana considers Gomperts her mentor and said working for her is like “working for superwoman.” As an American, Ellis-Kahana said she was deeply affected by the ease with which she was able to purchase Misoprostol in Morocco, where abortion is illegal."
Connect to the link to read the entire article. And think about the state-by-state restrictions being placed on legal abortions in the United States every single day. The law of the land is being purposefully undone, bit by bit. When will we women take to the streets and begin to march? Vote in November for the candidates that support women's lawful rights. And ask why we don't know more about Misoprotol. And learn more about Women on Waves. Imagine a boat sailing into a harbor and offering desperate women a way to safely control their own bodies.
P.S. As for those U.S. FDA restrictions on Misoprosol? There are five drug-related deaths per 100,000 Viagra users. One in 100,000 women die from drug-related complications when using Misoprostol. Misoprostol is safer than Viagra. Think about it.




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