As a result of the Texas Senate passing some of the toughest anti-abortion measures in the country, many clinics would potentially be forced to close. Consequently, doctors are nervous that women will turn to unsafe abortion methods, such as using the drug misoprostol, which induces miscarriages.
Characterized as a "star" pill for its hexagonal shape, misoprostol is often used in Latin America where abortion is illegal; the pill can be bought for $2 per pill overseas in bodegas and pharmacies. Misoprostol is typically used to treat stomach ulcers, as well as to prevent women from experiencing postpartum hemorrhaging. But Doctors are concerned about the effects that can occur when women take the pill on their own terms. "While it's not the most dangerous drug, there are a lot of questions about how to take it appropriately," says Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
According to Dr. Lester Minto, who runs Reproductive Services clinic in Harington, Texas, the women he treats may turn to the "star" pill method in the face of the anti-abortion measures he'd be forced to close his clinic himself. As the drug is openly available in Mexico but not the United States, many relatives smuggle misoprostol over the border, and it can be found in some Texas flea markets. Minto compares the self-treatment with the pill to a "cheap cure for a radiator leak," but at the same time, cannot criticize it. "I would probably try the same if I were in a situation like these women."