The Texas House of Representatives recently voted to pass the notoriously godawful legislation that would close most, if not all, the abortion clinics in the state. Don't fret, Texas gals: you can still get abortion pills at your local flea market! Who needs safe and legal healthcare when you can get taken advantage of by sellers who have absolutely no medical expertise?
According to this chilling Bloomberg report, there's a thriving black market at Texan open-air flea markets near the Mexican border "where women too poor to afford an abortion at a clinic or deterred by state mandates such as a 24-hour waiting period can buy drugs to induce a miscarriage on their own."
“You’d be amazed at how many people, young people, are taking those pills,” Erlinda Dasquez, a 29-year-old mother of four who has taken them herself, told Bloomberg. “I probably know 12 to 20 people who have done this. My cousin just went to the flea market a few months ago.”
Cytotec and Mifeprex, the medications most often sold by vendors (under the table, but all you have to do is ask), are only safe if taken as directed; that's why they require a prescription. But the hawkers have no idea what they're doing. "During a recent visit to the Almost Free Pharmacy in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, a man behind the counter instructed an initial dose of two pills orally and one vaginally, followed by two pills every hour 'until something happens,'" Bloomberg reports. Brings a whole new meaning to the concept of "Plan B."
One physician said he sees patients daily who have taken black-market abortion drugs, many of whom are are bleeding or still pregnant. They often have zero additional options. Women in the Lower Rio Grande Valley said it's been hard for them to make their own reproductive choices since the state cut contraceptive funding in 2011. These pills cost about $40; at the nearest legal provider, a pharmaceutical abortion costs $550.
In recent years, "pro-life" laws that purport to "protect women" have forced women to cross the border for health care; in some cases, they literally had to swim for it. There's already a known "black market" for birth control in some states where women lack access to affordable contraception. If HB2 and SB1 actually pass, purveyors of back alley offerings will see a spike in business. Hmm, it's almost as if anti-choice legislation won't convince women to give up on abortion altogether. Forcing women to seek dangerous alternatives to the care they're entitled to under the constitution doesn't sound so pro-life to us.
Image via Real Deal Photo/Shutterstock.