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Is Performing Your Own Abortion the Latest Trend?

By Lauren Jimeson |

We’ve all seen the crazy fashion trends and diet trends, but a DIY abortion as an upcoming trend is probably the most outlandish and disturbing thing I have ever heard of. While DIY herbal abortions haven’t taken the country by storm just yet, they are quite common in certain parts of the country including the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights. is reporting that with the budget cuts affecting Planned Parenthood and “a group of nutjobs who think zygotes and corporations are people running for President,” women seeking abortion will not be able to afford one any longer at the doctors office and might have to opt for other alternatives.  

The two herbal methods that are common in the Washington Heights neighborhood are Humphrey’s #11, which is used to treat the syptoms of delayed menses, and hierba de ruda, a non-edible plant.   Both herbal remedies are known to be prescribed by people who practice the religion of santeria, a West African and Caribbean religion influenced by Roman Catholic Christianity.

Women are choosing these medications because they cannot afford to go and see a medical doctor to perform a proper abortion which can cost them hundred of dollars. The herbal remedies are much cheaper, costing less than $10, and it is a far less invasive procedure.

According to, the women in Washington Heights lack health insurance and are also primarily from the Latino culture, which ”dictate that a woman should not be having sex outside of marriage, but she especially should not have an abortion.” The herbal remedies of Humphries #1 and hierba de ruda can be an easy way out if a woman finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy because it can be done in private, without anyones knowledge, not even a doctors.

While I can understand the pressure and the lack of resources, I do not understand why anyone would put their life as well as their unborn child’s life in danger by taking a little pill.  I find this “trend” to be quite disturbing and unsettling. If this is truly going to be a problem for women because of government issues and budget cuts, we need to take a good hard look at the negative consequences it might cause.

There is a reason that abortions are done in doctors offices by trained professionals. No woman should have forgo that safe environment to buy a pill and put herself in danger to abort her unwanted pregnancy.

What are your thoughts?

Read more from Lauren at A Mommy in the City. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter !

Image via True Foods Market

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About Lauren Jimeson


Lauren Jimeson

Lauren Jimeson is the author of A Mommy in the City, which chronicles living the city life with a suburban mentality. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lauren's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “Is Performing Your Own Abortion the Latest Trend?

  1. Taz says:

    i don’t consider this a trend as i have read zines about it in the 90′s and known girls that have done this. also considering that for quite awhile now a more holistic approach to childbirth and child rearing has become very popular and accepted and almost even expected (the elective c-section/formula happy mom is looked down upon in my neck of the woods) why not take a more holistic approach to the flip side of things? i think that terminating your own pregnancy without any medical care (at least after care!) is just as nuts as being in labor for days in your own home stubbornly denying that childbirth might indeed be a medical situation. and i’ve known people that have done both of these things and turned out just fine so i guess my opinion doesn’t really matter much!

  2. Angie says:

    Not sure I would have given out the names of the specific “treatments”, personally…..might just help desperate people find unsafe abortiofacts…..

  3. Rosstwinmom says:

    I knew this was another misleading headline by Babble. You even acknowledge it, ” While DIY herbal abortions haven’t taken the country by storm just yet…”

    And really, you just paraphrased the Jezebel article. I’m so done with Babble.

  4. Olivia says:

    I doubt this is really a “trend”. It’s just a few women who are desperate seeking desperate measures. Nothing new about that. Also, I don’t think anyone seeking an abortion is concerned about “putting their unborn child’s* life in danger”. That’s the point.

    *Anti-choice phrase

  5. A.M. says:

    Drawing a parallel with a “fashion trend” is despicable. That just cheapens the real problem here- that people are being denied medical treatment. Equating it to some “trend” is misogynistic and ridiculous. Nobody does this to get on the “trend” bandwagon. People do this out of abject desperation. If the people who redacted the abortion access actually helped people keep and raise their kids, they might actually be less of a market for quack abortion schemes.

    This has nothing to do with Santeria, really. Getting rid of a pregnancy is older than the hills.

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