Because abortions are nearly impossible to access in New Brunswick, people in need of the procedure have begun terminating their pregnancies themselves.
Whenever and wherever women have found it impossible to continue a pregnancy and to find competent help to end it, they have resorted to whatever is handy and has the slightest chance of working. And, it is to be hoped, not kill or maim them.
Right now, for example:
A woman in Morocco looking for help is considering drinking bleach to end her pregnancy. In Poland, a rape victim says she’s thinking about hitting her stomach with a stick to induce a miscarriage. Another woman desperately emails, “I am not a monster, I just cannot have the baby.”If the Women on Waves ship visits North America, a period anchored in Northumberland Strait would be useful to the women of PEI and New Brunswick who are denied -- for purely political reasons -- access to a common medical procedure available to the rest of Canadian women.
These are the distressed messages that Women on Waves receive every day from women who live in countries where abortion is illegal. The organisation, an activist group famous for providing abortions on a ship in international waters, has recently been chronicled in the award-winning film, Vessel. The movie follows the work of Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts and her crew as they work around various countries’ abortion laws – and sometimes just flout them – to help women end their pregnancies.
While watching the film, which has its New York premiere next month, it’s hard not think about the current hostile climate for reproductive rights here in the US and wonder: How long until illegal abortion is the norm here, too?
In the meantime, here's some advice from the organization's website, Women on Web.
The best and safest way a woman can do an abortion herself until the 12th week of pregnancy is with the use of two medicines called Mifepristone (also known as the abortion pill, RU 486, Mifegyn, Mifeprex), and Misoprostol (also known as Cytotec, Arthrotec, Oxaprost, Cyprostol, Mibetec, Prostokos or Misotrol). If you live in a country where there is no access to safe abortion services and you would like to obtain a medical abortion with Mifepristone and Misoprostol, please go to Women on Web (www.womenonweb.org).While women may be just as desperate as ever, the (semi-) good news is that DIY abortion is safer.
Although abortion is still illegal in many countries around the world, "do-it-yourself" (DIY) medical abortion means that it has become much safer compared to traditional methods such as inserting foreign objects in the uterus or ingesting poisons. However, there are still dangers when women buy dubious medication on the black market and take it without any instructions or medical supervision -- hence, the urgent need for groups like [new international foundation called Women Help Women] WHW, as well as Women on Web. The latter group courageously piloted the online provision of medical abortion in 2006, proving the viability and safety of this model.
And speaking of politics, the newly elected Liberal Premier of New Brunswick is already walking back one of his major promises. He seems to be changing his tune on fracking.
Gee, I wonder how the fetus fetishists of the province will respond to that news, given recent research showing that fracking increases the risk of fetuses developing congenital heart problems?
Reproductive Justice New Brunswick is keeping track of Gallant's shilly-shallying on his abortion review promise with its Days of Inaction Timer.
New Brunswick women who can afford it and have a passport will continue to contribute to the spike in abortions provided in Maine. But women who can't afford it will resort to other means, necessarily less safe than medical abortion.
Any less-than-ideal consequences of that will be on you, Premier Gallant.