Women Are Stocking up on Abortion Pills amid Fears of Restriction
In 2020, when word first broke out about the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a nationwide flurry to stock up on food and home goods — particularly toilet paper and Lysol wipes. It was a time of “panic buying” and led to mostly empty paper and cleaning product shelves across the country. The rush to stock pantries when fear strikes is normal in real life, but what’s not as normal, some would argue, is stocking up on something like abortion pills.
However, recent research revealed that is precisely what women have chosen to stockpile “just in case” they’re needed if more states move to protect people from their dangerous side effects. This increase in demand for at-home abortion pills followed what many perceived to be threats to abortion access after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The spike peaked shortly after the decision was leaked, but before the ruling was officially handed down. Since then, the daily requests have continued to go up and down.
As the Associated Press reported, daily requests for a specific abortion source fluctuated greatly. Aid Access, a European online telemedicine source, notes that between September of 2021 and April of 2023, they alone have received roughly 48,400 requests from across America for abortion medication. After the 2022 court leak, their daily requests jumped from 25 to 247. However, shortly after the Dobbs decision, their daily requests went down to 89. But as of April of this year, they were back up to 172. Just between July and August, these daily requests totaled to over 13,000.
Research also revealed the majority of those requesting pills are women in their thirties who do not have children or are not pregnant. Other than to just “be prepared,” little information was provided for the exact reason why these women felt the need to stock up on abortion pills. However, The Guardian wrote that Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch physician and abortion activist, encouraged women to do so last year.
“Don’t wait for the decision. Just get the medication now, get it in your house, get it in your hands,” Gompert said. And while such pleas have prompted many vulnerable women to act, not everyone is persuaded by the pressure.
Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, commented to The Washington Stand that this increase in demand for at-home abortion pills further demonstrates how the abortion movement harms women, not protects them. “The acceptance of artificial birth control spread the lie that the purpose of sex is not unity and procreation, but instead, just pleasure.”
She continued, “Birth control has led to the objectification of women — to women being used as mere tools for men’s gratification. It has also led to the devaluing, and even hatred of, the natural consequence of sex — children.” In Szoch’s opinion, children are particularly hurt because they “are no longer viewed as a gift from God, but instead, as objects whose existence depends solely on a man’s or a woman’s will for them to exist.” As such, “God’s will is completely removed,” she added, and women stock up on pills that have the power to exterminate the children they fear they’ll conceive.
She concluded, “The belief that a couple can ‘control’ whether a child exists leads to the belief that a couple can determine a child should no longer exist. Women stocking up on abortion pills is the natural consequence of over 60 years of telling men and women that sex is only about pleasure — and that the natural result of sex, children, should be feared.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.