Anna Gragert
March 08, 2016 12:46 pm
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OB/GYN Dr. Jen Gunter has taken a moment to educate us all on a topic that is not often openly discussed. The title of her piece: “There is no safe DIY herbal abortion.”

In 2015, there were over 700,000 Google searches that revolved around self-induced abortions, according to The New York Times. About 119,000 women specifically searched “how to have a miscarriage.” This was especially the case in states that do not support (or provide) its residents with safe, affordable, abortion-related care.

In a post on her blog, Dr. Gunter referred to a VICE article entitled “The Pros and Cons of Having an Herbal Abortion” and asserted that “there is no ‘pro’ to a D.I.Y. ‘herbal’ abortion, only cons.” She stated that any information out there about herbal abortions is often dangerous, lacking background studies and proper evidence. Because of this, Dr. Gunter warned that many sites promoting herbal abortions are incredibly misleading (though they may seem legitimate on the outside).

One such site that’s mentioned is New Kids-Center. Dr. Gunter displayed a sample screenshot from their “How to Cause a Miscarriage” page on her blog to prove her point:

Studies that link a food with miscarriage are not guides to how to induce an abortion,wrote Dr. Gunter.

Even though the OB/GYN does not support herbal abortions, she understands why they have become popular due to decreased access to medical abortions. She explained, “Getting an abortion in many states is not only financially burdensome, but the hoops women have to jump through with appointments and ultrasounds can easily be overwhelming.” This is especially true in other countries that provide citizens with no safe abortion methods, forcing women to risk their safety as they attempt to self-abort. In 2008, it was estimated that unsafe abortions caused 47,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

“The idea that there are safe plants or other botanicals for home abortion is a dangerous myth that kills thousands of women every year,” Dr. Gunter concluded. “Anyone who promotes the idea of a safe ‘herbal’ abortion should be ashamed of themselves.”

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