US takes measures to stop mailing of abortion pills

Publié le 19 Nov, 2018

The US “could stop subsidising postal services transporting medication from overseas for illegal abortion”.


In fact, Donald Trump announced the withdrawal from the US of a “little known UN agency that sets standards in relation to international mail”, called the Universal Postal Union (UPU). This UN agency seeks to harmonise national postal services to facilitate the distribution of mail across the world. However, it also works by classifying countries according to their economic development “to subsidise trade from less developed countries”. Amongst the Group 4 countries, those receiving the biggest postal subsidies, is India, and amongst Group 3 countries is China. The illegal trade of opioids in the US is partly supplied by China. Similarly, abortion pills are sent from India to American women who order them through the website Aid Access.


Aid Access was launched by a Dutch doctor, Rebecca Gomperts, who also set up Women on Waves[1] and Women on Web[2] to carry out abortion in countries where it is illegal. According to this website, self-managed medical abortion using pills purchased online is “safe”. The website also runs an ad: “You don’t have to tell medical personnel that you’ve tried to have an abortion. Just say you had a miscarriage”. According to C-Fam[3], “in addition to under-estimating the risks inherent in abortion, this advice potentially protects Aid Access against any involvement if a woman using its services suffers serious harm or even dies”.


Faced with this “cheap importation of misoprostol and mifepristone” for abortions, the FDA has announced its intention to investigate, and has published an advertisement “urging women not to jeopardise their health by buying these products online and using them without monitoring”. The FDA insists that mifepristone “should be distributed and monitored by health professionals” in an attempt to “safeguard women’s health”. The use of these products is also restricted because of the “risk that pregnant women might be forced to take them or self-administer them without knowing or without giving their informed consent. This issue is fast becoming a reality: at the beginning of the month, a Wisconsin man was given a 22-year prison sentence for putting abortion pills in his pregnant girlfriend’s drink”.


[1] The “abortion ship” returns to Mexico, The “abortion ship” makes waves in the Netherlands, “Abortion ship” condemned by Portugal

[2] Ireland: over 5,600 women have sought “illegal” medical abortion, Zika epidemic: An NGO proposes mail-order abortionabortion on the Internet for €90, About Women on Web

[3] Center for Family and Human Rights.

CFAM (26/10/2018)

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