some thoughts on self induced abortions
January 15, 2010 § 6 Comments
on menstrual extraction:
its kind of funny but it never occurred to me to get training. i figure i will build one myself. and start with testing the del-em on papaya until i get the feel for it. and then have someone -probably habibi who will help me build it- take out my period-unfertilized-so that i can see what it feels like. and then extract another woman’s period. and after that a couple of times. then do a fertilized uterus.. the first women who created the machines didnt have much to any training what so ever. and they taught the process in a few hours in workshops. on top of that i a reading lots and lots of personal accounts fro women who have undergone the procedure and those who have performed it. also i read/devoured the zine- jane- a few years ago and am going to re read it. i know women’s biology. ive had a miscarriage at 10 weeks pregnant and have assisted women post abortion. so i know a lot of what to look out for.
but i think that is just my way: im like a mad scientist. i always do the experiment on myself first. i dont like giving something to others that i havent tried.
on herbal abortion:
ok. inducing a miscarraige using various plants has been around since longer than written history. we know that much. and it has existed in nearly every culture that western sociology, ethnobiology has studied. and there a large variety of plants that can aid in inducing miscarriage. actually all plants are to some degree an abortifacient but there are special plants that have large amounts of the constituents needed to induce miscarriage. we also know that there has been little modern western scientific experimentation and studies on abortifacient qualities in plants. the best that we get most of the time is studies showing us that xyz plant ‘should not be used by pregnant women’. we also know that there are varying degrees of ‘success’ that individual folks have with using plants to induce miscarriage.
in my studies and most importantly in talking with folks who have induced miscarriage there are certain factors that i see coming up time and time again that increases the success of the ‘herbal abortion’.
1. certainty that they dont want to be preggers. dont want to have a baby. and at peace with that decision.
2. using herbs that are a part of their collective and ethnic memory. for instance cotton root bark was used by n. american slave women to abort. black cohosh was used by indigenous n. american to do the same. and so on.
3. using herbs that stimulate the mechanics of releasing the blood. stopping the progesterone/detaching the placenta, opening the cervix, stimulating contractions in the uterus, and so on.
4. taking the time for the herbal abortion to work. understanding that it could take weeks, and not just days. not giving up after a couple of days.
5. keeping the herbs in the bloodstream constantly. consistent use of the herbs on a regular basis.
6. being able to relax.
7. using herbs that do not cause harm to already sensitive parts of the body system. for instance not using highly estrogenic herbs for folks who have sensitivity to estrogen. or folks who have a history of hemorrhaging, not givng herbs that increase the likelihood of hemorrhage. watching for food sensitivities. diabetes. low white blood cell count. etc.
–furthermore if the herbal abortion is not successful, either does not facilitate an abortion, or is an incomplete abortion, it can usually be finished with menstrual extraction.
on surgical abortion:
i dont know what is the best option for a particular person. perhaps it is surgical abortion and surgical abortion ought to be freely available everywhere. point blank. but not all people obviously believe that surgical abortion is the best option or so many people wouldnt be looking for alternatives even though they surgical abortion is available to them.
some reasons surgical abortion may not be the best option:
–the way that healthcare officials treat marginalized folk, esp. abortion providers
–requires a level of public visibility that could be harmful to the person attempting to procure an abortion. in other words, they fear family violence, partner violence, or other violations and violence if people found out that they were going to an abortion clinic or were pregnant.
–a mechanical digitized vacuum in your vagina. some folks experience a lot of pain, bleeding, infection from the machine.
–triggers and flash backs of sexual violence
i think we often are looking for the ‘best’ option for everyone. without realizing that there is no such thing. different people need different processes. best, optimal, normal, natural–these are all words that are look for a totalizing ideal to fit onto each person (with slight adjustments). self inducing abortion is like birth in that some folks bodies need to do it quickly. and others need to go slowly. some need parsley and some need black and blue cohosh. some need nipple stimulation and sex and some just need silence and privacy. let it be.
frankly i meet a lot of women who would invest a lot of time and energy into a process that did not mean taking synthetic hormones so that they didnt get pregnant and when/if those hormones failed they could get a mechanical vacuum cleaner stuck to their cervix to remain un pregnant.
and lets not forget that china has a one-baby per family policy since the 1960s. how? in part through inducing miscarriage through acupuncture.