CBS NEWS, Amsterdam — As oral arguments resume Wednesday in a landmark federal court case over the Food and Drug Administration’s decades-old approval of the abortion pill mifepristone, some Americans are circumventing their state and local laws and looking overseas to Europe to get medications to terminate early pregnancies.
“People with unwanted pregnancies, they can follow an online questionnaire, and this is reviewed by doctors and their assistants, and then the medicines are sent to their home address and they can do the abortion at home,” Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, who is based between the Netherlands and Austria, told CBS News.
Gomperts founded the organization Aid Access in 2018, headquartered in Europe, to provide reasonably priced telehealth abortion pill services to people living in the U.S.
“Abortion is controversial in the United States because it’s politicized, and it’s not being treated with the scientific evidence and the human rights arguments that it should be,” Gomperts said. “In other countries, it’s not controversial, and abortion is recognized as a human right.”
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Gomperts has worked for nearly 20 years to provide access to abortions for women in countries where it is restricted or banned, through the organizations Women on Waves and the Women on Web.
She created Aid Access in 2018 specifically to service Americans, despite abortion rights in the U.S. still being protected under the now-overturned Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling at the time.
“We started looking into the countries where abortion is legal and should be available there, where we started getting a lot of help requests,” she said. “One of these countries was the United States.”
Gomperts said more and more people in the U.S. were reaching out asking for help getting abortion pills, despite having the right to an abortion at home, because they “couldn’t afford the local abortion care that was available or distance that they had to travel.”
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