Increasing demand from U.S. for abortion pills from Dutch organization
The demand from the United States for abortion pills from Aid Access, Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts' organization that provides the pills online, is increasing rapidly. Gomperts said in an interview with French news agency AFP that some people "are panicking" because the U.S. Supreme court is set to repeal the constitutional right to abortion next month. If that happens, about 20 U.S. states seem to be planning to ban or severely restrict the right to abortion.
"We are already seeing a huge increase in the number of requests," said 55-year-old Gomperts. Since 2018, her organization Aid Access has been distributing abortion pills online. Earlier this year, Gomperts received the Aletta Jacobs Prize 2022 from the University of Groningen (RUG) because of her fight for abortion rights and access to safe and legal abortions. The jury stated that Gompers managed to get abortion high on the political agenda in various countries with her organizations Women on Waves, Women on Web, and Aid Access. In 2020, the doctor was already on Time's list of 100 most influential people.
In the past, Gomperts anchored her abortion boat in international waters off the coast of countries like Poland, Spain, and Mexico, to offer medical abortions on board to women who didn't have access to safe abortions in the countries concerned.
The pending decision of the U.S Supreme Court has "made people aware of how vulnerable they are," the doctor said.
Demand from the U.S. was high even before the Supreme Court's intentions leaked recently. In just over a year (October 2020 to December 2021), Aid Access received over 45,000 requests for abortion pills from the United States. The reasons for the requests vary but include high costs for other abortion services, the expense and effort of traveling to distant abortion clinics, and the inability to do so due to work or childcare.
After completing a questionnaire, women receive instructions on how to take the pills at home. The price is adjusted according to their financial capacity and the pills are mailed from a pharmacy in India. Aid Access contacts the women after the pills are sent.
Reporting by ANP