A provider of ‘DIY’ abortion pills has been advertising an ‘abortion pill kit’, which it markets as “a complete solution for an unneeded child”.
‘DIY’ abortions, in which abortion pills are sent through the post and taken without medical supervision, have been legal in Britain since 2020. Its legal status in the US, however, varies from state to state. According to the New York Times, 25 states and Washington DC permit ‘DIY’ abortions.
Now, a number of companies are providing the pills online.
One of these online companies, which we have chosen not to link to or name so as not to advertise their services on our website, offers an abortion pill pack for $199 (£160), which it markets as “a complete solution for an unneeded child”.
The New York Times quotes a user who said “it was one of the cheaper options”.
The website also offers a “medical termination of pregnancy” (MTP) kit for $159.50, which includes the drugs used for a ‘DIY’ abortion: mifepristone and misoprostol. The website describes these pills incorrectly as a contraceptive, adding that the MTP kit is “such [a] wonderful solution to terminate [an] unplanned pregnancy”.
In addition to using a small depiction of a baby developing in the womb, the website makes the claim that “the fetus does not experience any pain till the 30 weeks of pregnancy and only after 30 weeks it starts sensing as the sensory organs start to grow.” No references are provided for this claim.
While the question of when an unborn baby begins to experience pain is a matter of dispute, in the UK, it is standard NHS practice to give painkillers to unborn babies receiving surgery in the womb for spina bifida. This surgery takes place between 20 and 26 weeks gestation and pain relief is provided.
Last year, the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group (APPPG) commissioned and released a report on fetal sentience and pain summarising the extensive developments in medical science and academic research that point to the same conclusion: it is likely babies in the womb can feel pain, possibly from as early as 12 weeks gestation, with some evidence suggesting even earlier.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “These ‘DIY’ abortion pill websites are extremely suspicious and clearly created for the purpose of exploiting vulnerable women. All abortion is a scandal but abortion completely outside of a clinical setting displays a kind of callousness about the safety of women especially in regard to their being coerced into having abortions they clearly do not wish to have.”
“We are used to seeing large abortion providers in the UK and the US, who have large communications teams, doing everything they can to hide the reality of the abortion services they provide. These smaller online abortion pill providers appear to be less worried about showing the reality of abortion in the deeply disturbing wording they use to describe the products they sell.”
”We have chosen not to link to or name these providers so as not to advertise their services on our website. Unfortunately, the New York Times has not taken these steps and mentions this website in a recent article that provides case studies on how to use th abortion pill provider website and others to circumvent some state-level abortion legislation.”