56 million women around the world will decide to terminate their pregnancy this year. That’s 56 million women who will be looking for reliable information and safe resources as they navigate the abortion process. But getting straightforward, unbiased answers to abortion questions is often harder than you’d think. Between restrictive country legislation, social stigma, cultural taboos, and the ever-growing threat of fake clinics, it’s hard to know what’s out there that you can trust.
That’s why this week, HowToUse will be launching a three part blog series that highlights our most frequently received questions from women around the world who are considering an abortion. Our answers will be clear, comprehensive, and brimming with links to some of our most trusted resources.
Each week we’ll address two questions. We’ll also be sure to go straight down our FAQ list, no skipping or improvising. Real women. Real questions. Real answers. Let’s get to it:
Frequently Asked Question #1: Where can I get the pills?
Many women who turn to our site already know that they are pregnant and would like an option for safe termination. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question; how a woman can get access to safe abortion pills very much depends on where she lives.
In some countries, like India and South Africa, abortion is legal under certain conditions. This means that women living in these countries may be able to access the pills through clinics, hospitals, or pharmacies. In other countries, like the United States and Mexico, abortion legislation varies by state. And in still other countries, like the Philippines or Tanzania, abortion is highly restricted. (Though abortion pills may flood black markets in these countries, they may not be safe or effective for women to use.)
Many women prefer to first connect with their local sexual health care provider to learn about their options. Marie Stopes and International Planned Parenthood Federation operate some of the most globally recognized sexual health care clinics around the world, and may be able to provide safe abortion services depending on the country in which they’re operating.
If a woman is living in a part of the world where she cannot access safe medical abortion (either because of legal, cultural, or financial barriers), HowToUse refers women to any of our three provider partners: safe2choose, WomenHelpWomen, or WomenOnWeb. All three organizations work to provide women with a safe medical abortion option regardless of where she lives.
And as a special note: HowToUse now offers country profiles that provide women with the specific information they need to navigate an abortion in their country. Where can I buy the pills? How much do they cost? Our profiles answer those questions and more.
Frequently Asked Question #2: How much do the pills cost?
Just like the last question, the answer to this one very much depends on how and where a woman purchases the pills. Take New Zealand, for example, where abortion services are provided to qualifying residents free of charge under the country’s public health service. Other countries, like Kenya and Indonesia, may offer abortion pills through clinics or pharmacies at a wide range of prices.
As a general rule of thumb, in countries where abortion is legally accessible, public institutions commonly offer abortion services at a cheaper price than their counterpart private institutions.
Women who prefer to work with our international provider partners can expect to receive medical abortion pills for free or on a sliding scale (meaning you pay only what you can afford). Women interested in this option can enquire directly with any of the three organizations by visiting their websites: www.safe2choose.org, www.womenhelp.org, and www.womenonweb.org.
That takes care of our top two most commonly received questions. Join us next week as we move down our questions list. Want to make sure that you don’t miss out? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to make sure that you never miss a post.