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Molly Saves the Day

Feminist issues, liberal talk, and news analysis by former journalist turned phone sex operator.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

For the women of South Dakota: an abortion manual

I understand that you're probably really angry right now. Maybe you're reading a blog expressing that anger -- the anger that your state thinks it knows better than you what to do with your body. Maybe you're anxiously wondering where the nearest abortion clinic is, now that you will have to leave the state to get to one. If you have a serious medical condition, you might be doubling up on birth control methods, leading to a lot of worry and possibly negative side effects.

But what you need right now isn't the righteous anger the rest of the blogosphere will give you. You need more.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, when abortions were illegal in many places and expensive to get, an organization called Jane stepped up to the plate in the Chicago area. Jane initially hired an abortion doctor, but later they did the abortions themselves. They lost only one patient in 13,000 -- a lower death rate than that of giving live birth. The biggest obstacle they had, though, was the fact that until years into the operation, they thought of abortion as something only a doctor could do, something only the most trained specialist could perform without endangering the life of the woman.

They were deceived -- much like you have probably been deceived. An abortion, especially for an early pregnancy, is a relatively easy procedure to perform. And while I know, women of South Dakota, that you never asked for this, now is the time to learn how it is done. There is no reason you should be beholden to doctors -- especially in a state where doctors have been refusing to perform them, forcing the state's only abortion clinic to fly doctors in from elsewhere.

No textbooks or guides existed at that time to help them, and the equipment was hard to find. This is no longer true. For under $2000, any person with the inclination to learn could create a fully functioning abortion setup allowing for both vacuum aspiration and dilation/curettage abortions. If you are careful and diligent, and have a good grasp of a woman's anatomy you will not put anyone's health or life in danger, even if you have not seen one of these procedures performed.

Today, I will discuss dilation and curettage -- what used to be the most common abortion procedure before vacuum aspiration took its place. Vacuum aspiration is an easier method, but sometimes remaining fetal/placental material necessitates doing a "cleanup" D&C; anyway, so you should know how to do this procedure first.

DISCLAIMER: I am posting this as information only. Whether anyone chooses to act upon this information is their own concern. I believe in the free exchange of information and ideas. I believe this information has been kept from women for too long, and there is no reason they should not know about a procedure being performed on their own body, and no reason women should be kept in the dark about how to perform it -- especially if someone they know is having their health jeopardized by this law.

Instruments needed and their uses

You will need:

One set of uterine dilators (any equipment may be purchased from numerous websites. If you need assistance in finding this equipment, do not hesitate to email me at
Vaginal speculum
Pregnancy test
One set of uterine curettes
One pair of uterine forceps
One pair of regular forceps
Sterile bags for medical instruments and medical waste
A course of antibiotics
Sedative medication
Pressure cooker
Container of bleach solution: one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water
Strong soap
Sterile latex gloves
Water-based lubricant
Maxi pads
Clean plastic sheeting and towels
Exam table
Wet wipes

First, let's talk instruments, before we talk implementation:

Cervical dilators come in many forms. Some hydroscopic dilators work by absorbing moisture from the vagina into the dilator, gradually increasing its diameter until it is workable. However, the "old-fashioned" way is with a set of dilators -- metal instruments of varying sizes. It would probably be best for an illegal practitioner to use these, as they are essentially infinitely reusable as long as they are sterilized between uses. Essentially, the practitioner begins with the smallest instrument and inserts it into the cervix. Then, he or she moves on to the next smallest, and so forth, until the cervix is sufficiently dilated to allow the uterine forceps to be used. This is the easiest part of the abortion, and one that requires very little knowledge other than the placement of the cervix.

Uterine forceps look like a hybrid of a scissor handle and a bird of prey's talon. Their use, once the cervix is dilated enough to allow access to the uterus, is simple: they remove the fetal material from the uterus -- as much as can be removed in this manner.

Curettes are perhaps the most foreign-looking of the implements used. Essentially, they look like small spoons with sharp edges. These are used after the uterine forceps, to make sure the rest of the fetal material and placenta is scraped from the sides of the uterus.

A course of antibiotics is CRUCIAL. The most common cause of death post-illegal abortion is due to infection. When your uterus has been opened up, it is more prone to infection. Do not fool around with this: antibiotics are absolutely necessary post-abortion. Antibiotics can be purchased from Mexican pharmaceutical supply houses for less than $2 per course.

Now that we've discussed the more uncommon instruments, let's move on to discussing the procedure itself.


Sterilizing instruments is absolutely critical. The most professional way to sterilize instruments would be with an autoclave -- but this is something to get only if you have an extra few hundred dollars to spend in the name of efficiency. Sterilization is no joke, and nothing to be skimped on, but you can sterilize instruments very well with a household pressure cooker. Ordinary boiling water does not kill all pathogens; while boiling water was the best people could do 100 years ago, it is not the best we can do now. Check your pressure cooker's manual carefully and figure out how much water needs to be placed in it to stay at 250-260 degrees for 30 minutes. Be sure to refer carefully to the manual, or injury and damage to the cooker could result. Place the water and instruments into the pressure cooker and allow it to "cook" them for 30 minutes at the 250-260 temperature. This will steam-sterilize your instruments. If you have an autoclave, lucky you! Follow its operating instructions.

Assuming you have no autoclave, follow the instructions for opening your pressure cooker, then remove the instruments with an already-sterilized pair of ordinary forceps. set them in the sterile bags. Now your instruments are prepared. From now on, be sure to only touch the instruments on the handle side, rather than on the side coming into contact with the cervix and uterus. Wipe down your table with bleach solution, allow it to dry, and then place clean plastic sheeting over it.

Your patient should be naked from the waist down and should have her pubic area shaved. Request that the patient does so the night before. Administer a sedative to the patient long enough before the procedure begins that it will be fully effective during the D&C; procedure. Prior to the procedure, conduct an ordinary pregnancy test on the woman. This may seem like a silly step, but pregnancy tests are never 100% accurate, and women have been known to come to abortion clinics and test negative. Ask your patient how long it has been since her last period. If it has been eight weeks or less, the procedure itself will take less than 15 minutes after dilation begins. The length grows, however, until at about 13-14 weeks (the limit for a D&C; procedure because of the limited dilation ability of dilators) it will last up to 45 minutes. Honesty is IMPERATIVE, because dishonesty could endanger the woman's health.

Once the patient has "assumed the position" in the stirrups, wipe the vulva and anal areas with separate wet wipes, including the labia majora and minora. Once the patient is clean, lubricate the vagina with water-based lubricant and use the vaginal speculum to open the vagina and examine the cervix (information on how to use a speculum properly is widely available online and in print and does not need to be reprinted here, but please be sure you understand how to use the speculum prior to conducting this procedure).

The cervix is a small, round, smooth-looking muscle at the top of the vaginal canal. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the female reproductive system prior to performing any procedure such as this. The cervix is the entrance to the uterus. A non-pregnant uterus is only as big as a small pear, but it grows bigger even in the earliest months of pregnancy -- at 8 weeks, it is the size of a peach, and at 14 weeks, the size of a grapefruit. I didn't make up all these fruit-sizing terms, other people did, and I apologize for making anyone uncomfortable whilst eating fruit salad from now on.

It is important to know the approximate size of the uterus because that's where you're headed. Get out your smallest dilator and insert it slowly and gently into the cervix. This hurts -- it's part of why your patient is sedated. Novocaine is sometimes injected to numb the cervix, but when you are just starting, it is probably preferable to stay away from needles entirely. Insert each dilator in turn. Even the largest dilator, as you will notice, doesn't give you very much room -- less than an inch of opening. There's no way you can see into the uterus. From here on out -- this is the scary part -- you will have to operate on feel alone. Don't feel too afraid. Each element in the uterus feels different from the others, and as long as you are careful and understand exactly what the procedure involves at each step, it will not be too difficult.

The first step is to break the membrane holding the fetus inside. You can feel around with the forceps for it. To get an idea of what each part looks like -- and to see the texture so that you understand better how it will feel -- I recommend looking at books with photographs of first trimester fetuses (personal recommendation for its astonishing photographs: A Child is Born), The membrane should be easily broken with the forceps. Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, varying quantities of clear or pinkish fluid may come from the vagina. As you grasp the sac with your forceps, twist it away so that it detaches. You will now need to remove small pieces of fetal material and membrane from the uterus with the forceps. Some of these pieces will be distinctly identifiable as fetal material. Save the material until the end of the procedure on a piece of plastic, so that you can be sure the entire fetus has been removed. If doing this sounds too ethically challenging, remember that fetuses do not have the capacity to feel actual pain until the third trimester. You are not "hurting" it, and it has no awareness, nor the capacity for awareness, that you are extracting it.

This portion of the abortion procedure should not be particularly painful for the patient.

While you are removing fetal material, you will also be removing pieces of placenta. However, because the placenta is attached to the uterine wall -- and because it is the blood source for the baby -- bleeding may begin at this time. It is imperative that if bleeding begins at this point in the procedure, you do NOT stop. Stopping the procedure and attempting to stanch the bleeding will not work. The bleeding will stop on its own once the placenta is totally removed from the uterus. It may be scary, but keep going.

Once you have removed most of the material that is removable, you must move on to curettage. By now you will have felt the walls of the uterus with the forceps, and you must move on to using the spoon-shaped curettes. Find the spot on the uterine wall where placenta still clings -- the curette will make a sound much like metal on metal on a clean uterine wall, but will not make the same scraping sound on a place that still needs material removed. Scrape from the uterine walls, scraping material toward the cervix. Use the same general form of stroke you would use to scoop ice cream, and don't be afraid to scrape fairly hard. Scraping softly could leave tissue behind, and if there's anything you don't want, it's that. The other cue that will inform you the uterus is clean is that the patient will generally report feeling a cramp when the clean uterus is scraped, whereas a scrape of placenta will not feel as painful. Listen to your patient and listen to your curettes.

Once the material is removed from the uterine wall, any excess bleeding will generally slow or stop and it's uterine forceps time again. Take the remaining material out with the forceps. Most pieces of fetal material will come out with a simple tug on the forceps (again, don't be too afraid to use force and put a bit of muscle into it). However, at 13-14 weeks the fetal head may be slightly big to bring out. Pinch it with the forceps and take it out in pieces, as well. Make absolutely sure all bone fragments are removed from the uterus, as well as all other material. If necessary, use the curette again to remove remaining material and repeat the procedure with forceps.

By this point, bleeding should be no more than in a normal period, and likely quite a bit less. If the patient is still bleeding heavily at this point, get her to a hospital -- it means you likely did not curette completely, and the hospital will generally complete the procedure as her life is assuredly in danger.

When you feel the curettage and removal is complete, make sure you examine the fetal material you have already extracted. If you're missing anything obvious -- for instance, a head -- make sure to find and remove it.

Allow your patient to rest comfortably on the table if she wishes, or to get dressed. She will likely have some residual bleeding, so make sure you have maxi pads on hand (I would not risk infection from tampons so soon after the procedure). Give her the course of antibiotics and stress to her how imperative it is that she use them as directed. Make sure that she understands any bleeding or problems means she needs to call 911 immediately. When she is ready, allow her to leave -- if sedated, do not allow her to drive home herself. Follow up in a few days and make sure she is not experiencing much bleeding or pain.


I will be following up this article with directions for performing vacuum aspiration for first-trimester pregnancies and inducing miscarriages for later ones. I hope this can prove educational for the next generation of women, who may have to start a second Jane program. I am sorry we live in times where it is necessary to publish this material, but if women work together, an abortion ban doesn't mean that women and girls are left with no choices.


  • At 1:35 PM, Political Viewer said…

    Loved the article, your right legal or not women who are in need will find a way.
    Today is a sad day for all of us.

  • At 6:35 AM, Anonymous said…

    I think the pubic shaving suggestion can be disregarded- it's an outdated practice that isn't done anymore except for csections, and even then they only shave a little bit. I've had a LEEP and a d&c; and was not shaved for either.

  • At 7:25 AM, shannon said…

    Maybe you could make this infomation into pdfs and make them downloadable so that women's groups can have little booklets of information.

  • At 8:02 AM, Molly said…

    The reason I still recommend shaving is that this is for unexperienced practitioners. Some women may have enough pubic hair that it becomes difficult to see the cervix, and if someone's doing one of their first procedures they don't need any additional problems! :)

  • At 8:09 AM, Gordon K said…

    The antibiotic advice is dangerous. Not that the rest of it isn't somewhat risky, but ordering antibiotics from a Mexican pharmacy is a dumb idea. Go to your doctor - that way, you know you're not getting a generic knock off, you have a point of contact in case of a resistant infection, and you have a point of contact in case of a bad (allergic or otherwise) reaction.

    Don't tell them it's for an abortion if you don't want to; tell 'em you're stocking up for a nuclear holocaust, or shop around until you find one who will hear "I have strep" and prescribe without a fuss.

    But there is enough risk in this procedure without unnecessarily adding to it.

  • At 8:15 AM, StripGoddess said…

    I agree, excellent information, and I agree that you should complile them into a single document when you get done.

    It is terribly sad that this appears to be the way of the future.

  • At 8:20 AM, Molly said…

    Shannon -- that's a very good idea! I don't have Acrobat, though, so maybe after the three articles (D&C;, vacuum asp, and inducing miscarriage) are completed, I hope I can find someone who'd help me put them into that format.

  • At 8:31 AM, Molly said…

    Why are mexican antibiotics dangerous? Counterfeit drugs from other countries are almost always drugs like Oxycontin and other controlled substances. And I'm not sure why anyone would be scared of a "generic knockoff" when most antibiotics you'd normally get are not name-brands.

    Going to a doctor and getting a prescription isn't an option for all women -- especially if this information became public and docs were on the lookout for seemingly healthy women acquiring antibiotics. "Shopping around" for a doctor is a hobby for people rich enough to go to another state for their abortion.

  • At 8:51 AM, Chris Clarke said…

    Molly, I'm happy to PDF things for you. Drop me a line at

  • At 9:29 AM, Dirty Girl from ill said…

    Molly, I think it's amazing that you posted this. If Roe is overturned - as it might be - we will all need this information.

    Long live Jane!

  • At 9:44 AM, the nut said…

    Hi there. Since there is no trackback area, I'm leaving you a comment to say I linked you on my blog in a post titled, "Ignorance."

    Thank you for your wisdom.

  • At 10:28 AM, subcultureofone said…

    hey, i was just wondering if i should post something like this... great idea. i started working in women’s reproductive health care in 1989. i have some photos of dilators, forceps, a speculum, etc. if you’d like them. re: the antibiotics, there is nothing wrong with generic. our patients are given doxycycline, 100mg, twice a day for five days, seven days if second trimester. there are other protocols for tetracycline, ampicillin and zithromycin. all of these antibiotics are also used for ‘common colds’ or respiratory infections. usually, the magic words for getting antibiotics for a cold are something along the lines of ‘green snot’ since discolored mucous is used as an indicator of bacterial infection vs. viral.

    in addition to not using tampons, patients should not sit in water [bathtub, swimming pool, hot tub] as the water can carry bacteria up into the uterus since it can take up to two weeks for the cervix to close. sex involving penetration is also discouraged, but orgasms are a-ok.

    the best way to check tissue is to put it in a clear glass pyrex pie plate on top of a light box and float it in water. it’s much easier to see the difference between sac and uterine lining.

  • At 10:34 AM, kactus said…

    Great job, Molly! I've been pushing the "Jane" solution for quite some time now and am glad to see somebody else taking up the cause. I'd also be interested in what you might know about herbal abortifacients. We need to get this knowledge out; we need to take our lives in our own hands; we need to go underground if it's necessary. And most importantly, we cannot be afraid to be on the "wrong" side of the law, especially when the law itself is wrong.

  • At 11:07 AM, Molly said…

    subcultureofone: I would LOVE those photos, as I can include them when these documents are put in PDF form. Even for a woman not performing an abortion, I think it's good for a woman receiving (or thinking of receiving) one to understand the procedure as much as possible.

    kactus: I will discuss this in an upcoming post. the basic idea is: herbal methods can be dangerous if you don't know D&C; procedure.

  • At 11:36 AM, Anonymous said…

    Molly, Adobe lets you create up to 5 PDF files online--for free. All you need is, for example, a text file or Word document. You upload it, and the website spits out a PDF. Go here:

  • At 12:43 PM, Charlie said…

    Thank you for this post. I hope it never has to be used, but thank you.

  • At 2:18 PM, paul.tree said…

    Molly, there is FREE software available (PDFCreator is an example) online which will allow anyone to create a PDF as easily as printing. PDFCreator installs as a dektop icon for drag-and-drop, and/or as a virtual printer you can select from any application you can print from. You can download it here:
    (If the above url wrapped use this one: )

  • At 3:44 PM, Melissa said…

    Molly, I linked back to this on a few pro-choice communities over at LiveJournal. Thank you so much for posting this.

  • At 3:59 PM, Krista said…

    This is a fantastic resource, thank you. I was wondering if you could share how you have this information - are you a medical practictioner?

  • At 4:20 PM, Molly said…

    I am not a medical practitioner. I do not believe a person needs to be in order to know medicine and how to perform basic medical procedures -- including minor surgery. In a world where lawmakers were threatening to make appendectomies illegal, I'd learn how to do one of those, too.

    In essence, my learning has come from several sources: the writings of various abortionists, personal discussions with those who have performed abortions, medical reference texts, and other sources. I have been compiling this data for several years. Everything in this document has been verified by multiple independent individuals who have performed safe D&Cs; with good outcomes.

  • At 4:21 PM, Krista said…

    Fabulous. Thanks for that.

    I'm compiling my own information on a lot of this information to be put into a zine-style format and distributed. I just wanted to know how this info was gathered. Thank you again for compiling it.

  • At 5:02 PM, Molly said…

    I would be more than happy to help with any project like that, Krista -- why don't we get together and chat, and maybe combine forces for this? My email address is in the above post.

  • At 6:30 PM, Sarah said…

    The women of South Dakota do not need to be liberated. Have you asked anyone from South Dakota how they feel about the issue? I am originally from South Dakota. I am pro-life, but I also believe that women should not be forced to seek desperate means in order to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. I believe in the education of women, and I believe that both sides of the issue are being closed-minded about the best way to proceed. I do not think this ban is good for South Dakota. I also do not believe abortions are good for women. It is a difficult subject for sure, but I believe that having an abortion can be just as difficult emotionally as carrying a child to term.

    Please do not encourage this type of unsafe behavior and direct it at the women of South Dakota. Honestly, I truly truly feel more offended that you feel the need to liberate me than by the ban that is supposedly opressing me. You are just as bad as the SD legislature by assuming that your choice is my choice.

    This is absolutely NOT excellent information, and I am incredibly offended that you would encourage modern women to perform major medical procedures on themselves. We do not live in sod houses any more. But like on so many other issues, people assume they completely understand a state with a completely different culture. I do not claim to speak for all of the women of South Dakota, but I do know that abortion is a very difficult subject for many women I know to discuss, and it disgusts me that you, as a feminist, would take it so lightly.

  • At 7:29 PM, KristieD said…

    wow. I am saddened to think that our nation is coming to this and that we need to learn this sort of thing so that we dont return to the "back-alley coat hanger days"...sad.

    But, thanks for being woman enough to post the info. I feel for the women who may actually have to take this into their own hands. I am lucky enough to live in a state where clinics are readlity available and located all over. Of course, there are better ones than others, and i do my part by taking the girls who ask me for advice to the places where they will be the most comfortable, receive the best care and counseling if they need it.

    This is a scary time for women's rights and we definitely need to stick together.

  • At 7:39 PM, John H said…

    Personally, I believe that is irresponsible for you to condone someone doing this to themselves. I am not for abortion nor am I against it, however I will say that I feel that you are being foolish to suggest that people go to these extremes and more importantly I believe that you are just as bad as the right wing extremists against abortion.

  • At 7:51 PM, Molly said…


    If you think a woman could perform this procedure on herself, you must be the world's best contortionist. This is not -- assuredly not -- a method for self-inducing.

    Pardon me if I don't think that a woman who thinks abortions are "bad for women" would have the best advice on the subject.

  • At 7:53 PM, Molly said…

    John H:

    Again, reading comprehension seems to be an issue. How in the world could a woman do this to HERSELF without being a remarkable contortionist?

    I distinctly mention two people at a minimum -- a practitioner and a patient. This would be impossible as a method of self induction.

    You are irresponsible if you believe women shouldn't have the knowledge of what procedures are, when they're being done to their own bodies. Would you think it irresponsible for me to let people know how a tonsillectomy was performed?

  • At 7:56 PM, Anonymous said…

    Sarah, so the SD Legislature is oppressive for banning all abortions and Molly is oppressive for posting information about performing abortions? Of course,Molly is just disseminating information for anyone who needs it -- and I'm sure there will be women in SD who need it, even if you can't wrap your head around that idea -- while the SD Legislature is enacting law that carries penalties. They're not quite equivalent. And, as long as we're putting anecdotal evidence out there, I've had an abortion and a child, and experienced post-partum depression, but not post-abortion depression.

  • At 8:12 PM, Hissy Cat said…

    In essence, my learning has come from several sources: the writings of various abortionists, personal discussions with those who have performed abortions, medical reference texts, and other sources.

    Molly, have you had a surgical abortion yourself or been in the room to observe the procedure? These are personal questions I don't necessarily expect you to answer. I'm just asking this because, as a woman who recently had an abortion (under the best of circumstances, very early on, and with no complications) I would be terrified to allow you or any other self-taught practitioner to poke my uterine walls with sharp objects. Don't get me wrong-- I really, really respect what you are doing, I think you have the best of intentions, and the resources you've gathered up will be invaluable to whoever is desperate enough to use them. But D&C; is surgery, and it may not be the most complicated surgical procedure in the world, but it is real surgery with real risks and it isn't something doctors learn from textbooks or the internet without instruction and residencies and supervision and so forth. I guess what I'm saying is, I'm glad this info is out there, but it's not something I'm celebrating. DIY abortions and at-home surgery is not empowering and it's not liberating; it's a potential death sentence and it's fucking scary.

  • At 8:24 PM, Molly said…

    I have seen the procedure done. I have not done it myself.

    If seeing it done is what makes the difference -- after all, everyone has to actually DO something for the first time, before they become experienced -- then by all means, ask around and perhaps someone will actually let you observe. It happened to me, it may happen to you. Make sure they understand you're not a pro-lifer who's planning to shoot them while they have a curette up someone's vagina, though. That'd be...bad.

  • At 8:40 PM, pluripotentate said…

    this is excellent satire, but not everyone understands satire. i'm thinking most particularly of scared teenage girls.

    i'm not sure you can emphasize enough that no woman should ever put something sharp or pointy inside herself at home. this is not swiftian baby-eating satire; it's about something women really have done when their options were limited by the government.

    or... jesus. reading your comments -- you're not serious? because if you are, and even one girl dies because you told her to stick some tweezers up in there, i hope you find out about it.

  • At 8:44 PM, Molly said…

    Once again, this is a procedure for an illegal abortion CLINIC, not an individual woman. This would require a capital outlay of about $1500-2000 -- more than enough for a single woman to get across state lines, abort, and return. However, this clinical setup would provide many abortions for many women.

    Please read the post.

    Please, please read the damn post, this is clearly not about a woman SELF-aborting. Good lord. I don't know how many people I've seen make this same reading comprehension mistake. Are you intentionally obtuse?

  • At 8:48 PM, Molly said…

    Ummm, also, "a pair of tweezers" is certainly not what I suggest. If you'll notice, I specifically mention "uterine forceps." If someone decides to use incorrect equipment (even after I specifically discuss the shape and construction of the more esoteric implements), that's not my problem.

    Once again, it also isn't a self-abortion procedure.

    If a "girl sticks tweezers up herself," she is certainly not following my advice, she's following some made-up advice in her head. My manual discusses sterile, hospital-quality instruments made of surgical steel.

    If someone interprets my detailed, step by step notes on performing a first-trimester abortion on a woman and interprets them as "stick something up there and wiggle it around a bit," that's not following my advice at all, now, is it?

    This would be the same as if you made a blog post advising a friend to break up with her boyfriend and she responded by stabbing him fifteen times in the skull. Not the same thing, you see?

  • At 8:52 PM, Bitch | Lab said…

    Molly, I'm a web and publication designer and have all the tools to create a PDF, plain and one in pamphlet form.

    feel free to contact me about this and i'll carve out some time to make a nice pamphlet, brochure.

    info at pulpculture dot org

  • At 9:30 PM, Dr B said…

    Maybe you could write a bit on cross-contamination and how to avoid it. Not to mention some discussion on sterlization vs disinfection is required. I would suggest cold chemical sterlization and not the use of a pressure cooker and... you need to talk about gloving up.

    Another poster wrote about the importance of proper antibiotics. Some women are allergic to various types (sulfa based) and it is important to note that the course (dosage and duration) varies upon the drug administered.

    Stay strong, women of South Dakota. It's time to fight this, y'all.

  • At 10:15 PM, catnip said…

    I added a link to this post in my comments section of the article I wrote about this development in South Dakota today.

  • At 10:21 PM, karen leslie said…

    You are totally on the right track Molly and as I say that for two reasons:

    1) All women should have access to thorough information on how to perform abortion procedures safely.

    2) If U.S. politicians understand that we are serious about taking matters into our own hands we have a better chance of keeping abortion legal.

    Today isn't a sad day, its a day to get angry and a day to get pro-active. I am in full support of your choice to post this info and if you need any help with pamphleting or ANYTHING, I volunteer.

    Please try to keep us all updated on your progress and your needs to make this happen.

    isisreese at gmail dot com

  • At 1:58 AM, Anonymous said…

    Thank you for posting this. It is through courage of women like you that we will get through this.

    alystrastardust at livejournal.

  • At 7:22 AM, nela_05 said…

    Molly you are a brave brave girl. The fact that this need could actually arise is terrifying. I might have doubts about doing a procedure like that at home(mainly the risk of infection), but the fact is that you are giving us a glimpse of things to come if RVW gets overturned and for that I thank you.

  • At 9:50 AM, Anonymous said…

    while I wont get into an argument over abortion, I just want to clarify one thing. You stated that the band would take away a women's choice. I disagree... you have the choice to get pregnant or not. If you do get pregnant, it is because of your choice.

  • At 9:52 AM, Molly said…

    Hi, anonymous troll.

    Did you notice that the South Dakota bill doesn't even have a provision for rape victims? I'm sure they'll be glad to know they had a "choice" to get pregnant.


  • At 11:24 AM, Anonymous said…

    It would be helpful to include info on emergency contraception and chemical abortion. Chemical abortion with RU-486/mifepristone followed by misoprostol or methotrexate followed by misoprostol are 90%+ effective in the first 8 weeks.

    Also, it would be useful for anyone planning this to gather some reference books. Several gynecology/surgery medical books are available by P2P, and recommendations of books and relevant sections would be useful. Many of these are also available inexpensively through online used book dealers.

    The free software suite OpenOffice ( can save documents as PDFs. It is similar in functionality to Microsoft Office and runs on any computer.

  • At 5:23 PM, Anonymous said…

    I understand the concerns of folks who fear the consequences of disseminating the information that Molly has provided.

    But the alternative is unthinkable.

    We must be prepared to go underground, to defy those who seek to reduce women to the status of livestock. Anyone who believes that the assault on reproductive rights will cease when lines are drawn between red and blue states are kidding themselves.

    Underground railroads, safe houses and black market prostaglandins are not enough. Molly's bare bones information is essential to preserving reproductive autonomy.

    Our mothers fought this battle pre-Roe, and it is clear we must gear up for post-Roe battles, for those we love, and for those we have never met.

    Well done, Molly.

  • At 5:28 PM, Anonymous said…

    Thanks Molly, great info, for SD, and hopefully not elsewhere in the future. Regarding RU-486, how possible would it be to obtain a supply illegally or from other countries? To manufacture here? It's something that has been on my mind since Bush was selected...

  • At 5:43 PM, Anonymous said…

    I wonder if there is any information available about how to manufacture RU-486, mifepristone, misoprostol, methotrexate, etc?

    Also, what are the international sources for these? If someone can smuggle billions of pounds of marijuana into this country every year, surely a few cases of mifepristone could be brought in as well.

  • At 7:00 PM, Stroll said…

    This is useful information, but if you can get to Mexico for antibiotics, wouldn't you be able to get to a state with legal abortion?

  • At 7:29 PM, Molly said…

    Stroll: antibiotics from Mexico, et al, can be easily procured via the internet.

    You do not have to physically go there.

    Additionally, this is information for someone who would set up a clinic, rather than for an individual seeking abortion.

    Regarding RU-486 imports, friends are looking into this. Additional research would be appreciated, but there is something important to remember here:

    1) RU-486 DEPENDS on legal D&C; being available for the less than 10% of the time when the pill does not complete the abortion.

    2) RU-486 is only useful up to 9 weeks -- after this point, too many abortions using it are incomplete. Many women do not know they are pregnant until after this point, leaving them in the lurch if medical abortion is all that is available.

  • At 7:11 AM, Anonymous said…

    Molly, for pictures of instruments, you need not go any further than Google. Just use their images search and search terms like dilators (look for pictures that specify uterine dilators or Heaney dilators), uterine dressing forceps, vaginal speculum, etc. I'm assuming you already know what these items look like, of course.

  • At 8:23 AM, redhatter said…

    The people that think pregnancy is preventable must have been found in the cabbage patch. There is such a thing as failed birth control, no matter what kind you use, there is the chance of failure. No method is completely safe, other than abstinance. Therefore, these people must be saying people shouldn't have sex until they are past reproduction age. I am 66 years old, and was date-raped by my fiance' in 1964(in 1964 there wasn't such a thing as date-rape, so I couldn't press chagres) and got pregnant. We ended up getting married because that was what people did back then. We were good parents but I lived in a verbably abusive marriage for 20 years until we got divorced. Everybody is different, and has different beliefs, and should be able to safely practice their beliefs. If there had been safe, legal abortions back then that is what I would have chosen, because I didn't feel ready to be a Mother. So for all the people that say pregnacy is preventable, they are full of baloney.

  • At 11:53 AM, Kaka Mak said…

    Molly, I'm very new here and forgive me for jumping in--I'm sure your site is full of great stuff I'd support but on this my mind is just SCREAMING no.

    Does anyone see an abusive husband/boyfriend reading this and forcing his captive wife/girlfriend to endure him performing an abortion as he doesn't want no fucking babies?

    OR anyone thinking it might not be that hard to penetrate a woman's body and do this at home--not matter how good their intentions?

    Again, I aplogize for jumping in--I'm going to spend some time reading your blog, Molly--maybe I'm overreacting. On this, however, my mind is screaming NO NO NO!

  • At 1:42 PM, Molly said…

    Kaka -- do you think abusive boyfriends and husbands wouldn't resort to other methods? Many of the "coathanger" abortions of the 60s were done by those kinds of men. I seriously doubt they're going to read and follow my procedure -- and if they read it, then do something totally different, that's not my fault.

    Additionally, this procedure COULD NOT BE DONE for an individual. The supplies would take a month or more to receive. That's just stupid.

    Let's also make sure that no one has access to information about sex, because people could use it to rape women. That's the same thing as what you're saying.


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