"Aunty Jane" Tells Women How to Induce Abortion Illegally
Monday, August 27, 2012

Pro-abortion organizations behind the promotion of abortion inducing drugs in countries with pro-life laws have targeted Kenya with the latest abortion hotline. Women on Waves, Women on Web, and International Planned Parenthood, through its local affiliate Family Health Options Kenya, are behind the hotline- "Call Aunty Jane"- that "shares information about how women can safely have an abortion using misoprostol". 


"Aunty Jane" is not a trained doctor or nurse giving medical advice or a lawyer giving legal advice about an illegal act, but is the name chosen by a group of activist women who take turns answering a hotline in English and Swahili instructing women on how to commit illegal abortion with misoprostol. The hotline's website links to Women on Web which offers abortion pills online for self-induced abortion to "women living in countries where there are no safe abortion services". Its advice to women on obtaining abortion inducing drugsincludes:


"To obtain one these medicines, one could for example say that your grandmother has rheumatoid arthritis so severely she can not go to the pharmacy herself, and that you do not have money to pay for a doctor to get the prescriptions for the tablets. If there are problems to get the medicines in one pharmacy, try another pharmacy, or a male friend or partner might have fewer problems obtaining them. Or, perhaps you can find a doctor willing to prescribe them. Usually one can expect more luck at the smaller pharmacies that do not belong to a chain. Sometimes Cytotec can also be bought on the black market (places where you can also buy Marijuana). However try to make sure that is really is Misoprostol and not fake or some other medicine!" 


Debate over abortion policy and regulations continue in Kenya following adoption of a new constitution in August 2010 that broadened the legal exceptions to include danger to mental or physical health when approved by a trained health professional. With computer and internet access limited in Kenya, the hotline seeks to make access to so-called "medical abortion" more widely available. 


The use of abortion hotlines is a growing tactic globally. It is embraced by abortion activists as a way to circumvent laws and policies against abortion. The International Consortium for Medical Abortion held a conference to strategize on this tactic entitled, "Using Hotlines on Misoprostol for Safe Abortion to Improve Women's Access To Information in Legally Restricted Settings". Flaunting the "willingness" of pro-abortion activists "to take risks", the report of the meeting boasted of activists being "undeterred" by laws that restrict abortion and showcased hotline projects that disseminate information on misoprostol for abortion in countries which restrict abortion throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia.


The meeting was sponsored by the Netherlands based organization Hivos, Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation, which funds and partners with Women on Waves to advance access to abortion inducing drugs around the world. 


In the words of Women on Waves: "With Hivos support Women on Waves has undertaken a feasibility study to map the best strategy for worldwide dissemination of information about misoprostol for women themselves and to produce training material for literate and illiterate women. The study has identified a couple of opportunities to inform and train women's organisations in Kenya, Guatemala, Bolivia, Honduras, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Indonesia."    


Western pro-abortion activists claim misoprostol-known for producing severe cramping and bleeding- is "safe" for women to use without medical supervision and in remote areas where women do not have access to basic medical care. The report acknowledges that those running the hotlines do not have any medical experience, "but have been trained and are experts in the use of misoprostol to safely end an unwanted pregnancy". The report also acknowledges challenges hotline operators face "to help women identify fake misoprostol and genuine misoprostol" and the confusion caused by the varying protocols of the abortion drug available online.


In contrast, medical protocols for women living in western countries often mandate that a physician oversees use of abortion-inducing drugs, ultrasound is used to confirm the age of the preborn child before such medications are used, and a post abortion exam determines that the abortion was complete and there are no complications. The women targeted by the hotlines often live in remote areas where access to even primary healthcare is limited, and where complications from misoprostol are difficult to treat, thus increasing the risks to their health and safety.


PNCI urges lawmakers and pro-life leaders to initiate legal action against organizations running hotlines that give instructions for illegal and deadly actions. It is legally and morally repugnant that women are encouraged to break the law to destroy the lives of their preborn children while also jeopardizing their own health and lives. Women of the world deserve better.