Msg # 272
Date: 07 Jun 92 18:16:32
Subj: Menstrual Extraction
MSGID: 1:106/100.16 2a325a39
From a pamphlet: WOMENPOWER - DO IT YOURSELF ABORTION - TIME'S UP!
In 1969, when abortion was illegal, a group of Chicago women formed a
collective to counsel women and help them obtain abortions. They called
themselves the Jane Collective.
When Jane started out, they were primarily a referral service, giving women
phone numbers of abortionists in the area. Because most of the women they
served were poor, and because the abortionists depended on Jane for
customers, the collective frequently bargained with the provider for a lower
One day, it was discovered that some of the abortionists onJane's referral
list, although competent and safe, were not doctors. If a man without
medical training could perform an abortion, why couldn't Jane? One member
asked a non-MD abortionist to teach her how to perform an abortion. Once she
had learned, she shared her information with the rest of Jane. The
collective no longer needed to make referrals or line some man's pockets with
money. Jane had learned abortion procedures and there was no going back.
This was 1971.
From 1969 until 1973, when abortion became legal, any woman at any age of her
pregnancy with or without money could obtain a humane, demystified abortion
from (Jane) whose safety record for first trimester abortions equalled that
of New York State when that state legalized abortions. In Jane's four year
history, they helped over 11,000 women obtain abortions. Not bad.
Letting go of the belief that we need doctors to perform abortions will set
Forming a women's self-help health group will give you a newfound sense of
A woman's uterus, when not pregnant, contains only menstrual blood. This
blood can be legally removed by a self-help group. If a woman is pregnant,
her uterus will contain menstrual blood and fetal tissue. The contents of a
pregnant uterus can be removed, this time illegally, by the same technique.
it is the presence or the absence of fetal tissue that decides the legality
of the procedure.
HOW TO PERFORM A MENSTRUAL EXTRACTION (ME)
1) Supplies first: Betadine, speculum, "Del Em" ME equipment, latex gloves,
alcohol, Valerian or Motrin, copy of _When Birth Control Fails_, small 4mm
and 5mm canulas, flashlight, mirror, pillows.
2) Before proceeding, with the help of your group, check to see if you're
pregnant or not. ME can be done on non-pregnant women. Look at your cervix
and see if it has changed in color or texture. Have a member of your
self-help group perform a pelvic exam as well. Make sure it is someone who
has felt your cervix before. See if your cervix feels enlarged or softer to
her. Have you had any morning sickness? For how long? Study your most
recent menstrual cycle. You do this by counting the number of weeks that
have passed since your last normal period. If you are late, this might be a
sign that you are pregnant. If you think you might be more than eight weeks
pregnant, *do not* proceed with this method.
3) Lie back on a low bed or futon and, with your legs spread, get
comfortable. You may want someone to hold your legs for you. Definitely have
someone by your side to assist you with whatever you might want (water,
abdominal massage, Motrin, an extra pillow) during the extraction.
4) Although the vagina is not a sterile area, bacteria should never enter the
os, cervix or uterus or else you run the risk of infection. With the
speculum in place, so that your cervix can be easily seen by the person who
will be holding the canula, and using tongs that have been boiled until
sterile to hold a Betadine soaked cotton swab, cleanse the cervix and the
5) Touching only the two or so inches furthest from the end of the canula
that will enter the cervix, carefully put the canula inside the vagina (do
not let it touch the vaginal walls either; remember the vagina is not a
sterile field) and slowly insert it into the exterior os. After you have put
the canula into the os about 3/4 of an inch, you will begin to feel
resistance, as if the canula will not go any further. You have reached the
inner os or the entrance to the uterus. You may feel cramping at this point
because both the os and the uterus are muscles. The uterus may also recede
into the body making it hard to continue. This is normal as well. Continue
to push, with a gentle insistence, until you feel something give and the
level of resistance reduce; the canula has entered the uterus.
6) It is time to attach the rest of the Del Em apparatus to the canula.
Before doing so, remove all the air from a Del Em jar using your one-way
valve syringe. This will provide the right amount of suction needed to detach
early first trimester menses and fetal tissue from the uterine wall. Attach
the tubing to the canula and begin to move it in a semi-slow, back and forth
rotating fashion in the uterus. Remain in one area until you feel the
texture of the uterus go from soft and mushy to hard and ribbed or
ridge-like. Then repeat the same motions in another part of the uterus. You
will see blood and, if you are pregnant, a white, pudding-like substance
(fetal tissue) in the tubing. Continue to do this until you no longer feel
(through your 'eleventh finger', the canula) any softness in the uterus nor
see any blood or fetal tissue in the tubing. Remove the canula. Mission
_When Birth Control Fails_ is available from:
The Federation of Feminist Women's Health Centers,
1680 Vine Street, Suite 1105
Hollywood, CA 90028
This pamphlet was published by Anonymous Queers 1992.
Presenting this information in this echo does not indicate an endorsement of
the positions or procedures in the above quoted text by the person who
released this message into the Fido bitstream.
--- GoldED 2.40
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