Ohio’s health care providers launched a new website in January. challengeTo block a new abortion restriction that was enacted in December 2021 and threatens to close down clinics across the state. The bill, which is based on misinformation, seeks to place medically unnecessary restrictions and limit the number of health care facilities that can offer abortion care. This follows the Ohio legislature’s introduction of a bill banning all abortionsCompletely, while the U.S. Supreme Court considers an appeal that could be overturned Roe v. WadeThe landmark case that established the legal right to care for abortions was ‘The Supreme Court of Appeal’. The looming end is a motivating factor that has fueled the courage of RoeExtremists in States from South CarolinaTo South Dakota are cracking down on abortion access — half of all states in the country are certain or likely to ban abortion if RoeThis is a mistake.
In the face of these kinds of restrictions and attacks, we’re seeing a nationwide crisis of abortion access, and self-managed abortion — when a person ends their own pregnancy on their own terms, outside of a traditional clinic setting — is an increasingly relevant option.
When my birth control failed, I was able to manage my abortion myself in college. I wasn’t in a position where I wanted to have a child — I wanted to continue my education, I wanted a chance to focus on exploring and becoming confident with my gender identity, and there was also no way I’d be able to afford raising a kid yet. I knew that I needed an abortion.
There were many. restrictions on abortion access in Ohio at the time, including state-mandated “counseling” meant to discourage people from getting abortions, a 24-hour waiting period and restrictions on public funding for abortion care. These restrictions have the most impact on me, a young queer person, and/or someone with low incomes or disabilities.
Ultimately, I couldn’t afford to go to a clinic for an abortion. At the time, I didn’t know that there were resources like abortion funds that exist to help people afford their preferred method of abortion care. These and other factors led me to want to end my own pregnancy.
I did my research online and was able induce miscarriage with herbal remedies. I was relieved to be able to safely end the pregnancy, and this holistic method was best for me, but I also know that some people aren’t able to get the information they need to assess whether herbal methods could work for them because there are so few resources and so much stigma surrounding these methods. But herbal remedies aren’t the only way to self-manage abortions. If I had chosen that method, I was glad to learn that I could also order abortion pills. FDA-approved abortion pills are available and can be used. safely and effectivelyYou can end a pregnancy at your home, but there are still restrictions that are medically unnecessary. At the time I sought my abortion, I was worried I could have faced legal consequences for seeking medication abortion — here in Ohio, anti-abortion extremists have misused abortion restrictions to try to prosecute and punishPeople who manage their own abortions. In the past 20 years, dozens have been prosecutedSeveral states have laws that explicitly prohibit self-managing abortions. The chilling effect on vulnerable individuals, including young people, and communities of color, is more than just the stigmatizing and scrutinizing.
Every person, from Ohio to Texas has the right to choose how to proceed with abortion. Anyone who decides to end a pregnancy should be able to have their abortion in the way they want — with the control in our hands, surrounded by the people we love and with the support we want. Ohio’s new abortion restrictions threaten to criminalize even more people, including health care professionals, and it will be more important than ever that we protect people’s ability to choose for themselves how and when they want to get an abortion. We must also oppose policies that criminalize self-managed and unplanned abortions as we fight for these bills.
My self-managed abortion enabled me to get where and have a fulfilling career advocating for reproductive justicea vibrant, supportive community of loved ones and friends. Everyone deserves that same chance, and anti-abortion politicians shouldn’t stand in our way. I urge all of you to join me in asking your representatives to stop banning abortion. All people should be free from any stigma, unnecessary restrictions, or fear of being criminalized in order to receive the health care that they need.