The New Republic‘s cover headline this month is a topic that pro-choice activists speak about occasionally amongst themselves, but rarely address in public: “The Rise of DIY Abortions.” The reason that it’s not much discussed in public forums is that reproductive health advocates are data-driven people, and one thing that’s nearly impossible to get data on is the prevalence of women quietly buying an ulcer medication named Cytotec from sleazy online dealers and using that to terminate pregnacies at home, far out of the reach of doctors and agencies like the CDC or the Guttmacher Institute that compile statistics on abortions. The writer of the piece, Ada Calhoun, admits that there’s no way to know how common these black-market abortions are, but points out that the rise in websites peddling Cytotec specifically to terminate pregnancy (instead for its on-label use to treat ulcers) makes it hard to deny that this is a growing trend:
Phi Beta Iota: The truth at any cost lowers all others costs. Public policy decisions, especially health decisions, that are ethical and evidence-based, create the greatest good for the greatest number. The abortion rights of poor women (what Henry Kissinger would call useless breeders) have a direct impact on social health. When rich people with an idelogy both loot the public treasury and pervert public policy, a society dies twice.