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Rachel Maddow on the 'New Back Alley' Abortion

Tracy Bloom
Assistant Editor
Tracy Bloom left broadcast news to study at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. There she eventually became deputy editor of Neon Tommy, the most-trafficked online-only college website in…
Tracy Bloom

The image of a coat hanger has symbolized the kind of back-alley abortions that were common before Roe v. Wade made the medical procedure legal in this country. But perhaps now that gruesome image can be replaced with a new, more modern one: a pill that one can obtain without a prescription by simply crossing the border.

As Republicans try to clamp down on birth control, abortions and funding to Planned Parenthood, both federally and in individual states, some women are heading to Mexico to get what’s being called the “new back alley” abortion.

On “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Wednesday, Maddow discussed a recent report by the Texas Tribune’s Thanh Tan on how GOP efforts to restrict abortions in Texas have led some women to seek alternatives. According to Tan’s report, there are women crossing the border and going to Mexican pharmacies — many of them unregulated — to obtain a pill they hope will end their unwanted pregnancy.

“Now, the new coat hanger can be pharmaceutical. A drug you have to get in another country with no doctor’s advice, with rumor and good luck with your advice on dosage,” Maddow said. “The new back alley is across the border where Texas women are resorting to unregulated pharmacies in Mexico to do what Americans technically have the right to get here from a doctor.”

Watch the full segment below, including Maddow’s interview with Tan.

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— Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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