DIY Abortions in the Dominican Community

Last Sunday, the New York Times published an article about the incidence of women in the Dominican community in New York using alternative herbs or drugs to end pregnancies. According to the article:

Two new studies by reproductive-health providers suggest that improper use of … drugs is one of myriad methods, including questionable homemade potions, frequently employed in attempts to end pregnancies by women from fervently anti-abortion cultures despite the widespread availability of safe, legal and inexpensive abortions in clinics and hospitals. … [The two studies] found reports of women mixing malted beverages with aspirin, salt or nutmeg; throwing themselves down stairs or having people punch them in the stomach; and drinking teas of avocado leaf, pine wood, oak bark and mamon fruit peel.

The women use these methods of abortion to get around social, financial or health care hurdles that would stop them from having an abortion under the guidance of a medical professional.

Today, the Times published letters responding to the article. Former WLP Staff Attorney David Cohen’s letter, explaining the role of the Hyde Amendment in blocking low-income women’s access to abotion, was included among them.


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