Three technology changes are helping give women an easier option with an unwanted pregnancy: Plan C Pills + telemedicine + Internet. These constitute a breakthrough that has safely helped many women through a difficult time that often involves unwanted pressures and confusion. How might this be used more widely?
Well, it is happening, but can happen more. For instance, “Plan C pills”(mifepristone/RU-486; Misoprostol) constitutes the majority of abortions in many parts of Europe: 70 percent in Switzerland, 83 percent in Sweden, and 94 percent in Finland.
Plan C Pills have been legal in the United States for years, but may not be leveraged as much because of the combination of restrictive laws, our clinic structure, and education. Some are rethinking this.
Maybe we could think of Plan C Pills as a birth control pill. Plan B pills, or the “morning-after pills”, are a form of that. Plan C Pills certainly control birth, and some of the other terms, like “medical abortion” may lead to confusion with surgical procedures needing clinics. Like Plan B, Plan C was first developed by women without pharmaceutical company support– I would like to find the full histories of these– it is fascinating that they came from below. But the point is, that these come from women trying to help women.
Many are using Plan C Pills with a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach, not requiring a clinic, and indeed it is done quite a bit (numbers are hard to come by). The medicated approach has been found to be safer than giving birth. And doing it yourself can also be less expensive than taking pills at a clinic for $490 in the United States since the pills are often delivered for $65 (in other countries), and cost more like $5 to manufacture.
With smart phones or Internet connections becoming more common, telemedicine access, via skype or similar systems, to doctors could help women and doalas (helpers). When a woman has questions, having a secure, private connection to a trusted doctor could avoid a trip to the hospital.
Internet websites are starting to provide useful information such as Plan C Pills , and women on the web. Free classes over the Internet could also help train doulas and other professionals. More can be done to help spread reliable information at a time when “fake news” abounds especially for women seeking family planning information. In the past, novels, graphic novels, popular songs, AA-like workshops, after school classes have helped get information to those in need, with or without institutional support.
How this all plays out in different states and countries will depend on access to information/education (both official and non-official), support networks (again both official and non-official), and access to pills (yes, again, both official and non-official). Legal aid groups are starting to appear to help when it comes to that.
I find it interesting that new and existing support structures are leveraging this opportunity to help women have even better options than they had 40 years ago.
Thank you, Ebersblog.
Thank you Brewster for elucidating that Plan C, is deemed around the world as a safe DIY alternative. What many forget is that until the 1880’s abortions were legal in the US and performed by mid-wives. It was the AMA that forced them to be outlawed not so much on religious grounds but economics – they wanted doctors to get the fee’s.
Now days all abortion clinics are under siege and we are down to just one in 7 states. And now Texas is forcing women who under go an abortion in a clinic through the humiliation and expense of burying the aborted fetus. Plan C can certainly spare women both the humiliation and attacks they are forced to go through when trying to enter many clinics by protestors and keep the costs affordable for those barely eking by economically.
Brewster, do you recall trying to get a link out of the Presidio back in 1996. We met when you came over to Aloha Networks. We both had the same problem then.
Do you remember coming over to Aloha Networks the Presidio around 1996. I was working on a way to get an Internet connection – the Presidio had none at that time.
– John Jacobs
Computer Network Engineer