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Misinformation on the internet about abortion: Raw eggs, hard-boiled coke, herbal cures

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Missy is just one of nearly 90 million women living in countries where abortion is prohibited.

Missy, who lives in the Philippines, applied to the internet when she could not afford to buy abortion pills on the black market. However, she encountered a lot of misinformation, including useless residential production cures and illegal drugs.

Searching the Google and Facebook clusters, the lady decided to try various techniques such as placing guava leaves in her vagina, drinking strong coffee or using aloe vera extract, following the advice here.

Missy tried these ways for a week in the residence, for which there is no scientific evidence about their effectiveness or reliability, but to no avail. Moreover, these systems have caused stomach complaints and headaches.


According to the Digital Hatred Strive Center’s (CCDH) study covering 48 countries, the Google search engine “How to miscarry?” When you type the question, the site’s auto-complete feature will bring you home treatment formulas such as “raw egg” and “salt water”, the effectiveness of which has not been scientifically proven.

Google states that it cannot detect all such wasteful recommendations in their systems, but when detected, these contents can be reviewed and removed.

These automated search claims encountered in abortion-related searches are encountered by women in many countries including South Africa, Kenya, India, Philippines, Poland, Ukraine, Australia, UK and USA.


  • MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes), one of the world’s largest international non-governmental organizations in this field, providing birth control and religious abortion services, announced that its YouTube channels were closed indefinitely for weeks. That the ads they gave to Google and Facebook were also blocked many times. Both Google and the YouTube platform it owns stated that this was a flaw and the channel was opened to users again.
  • The International Federation of Family Planning (IPPF), represented in more than 146 countries, noted that nearly half of its ads to Facebook and Google were rejected.
  • Different institutions and organizations that aim to facilitate access to abortion drugs, such as Women on Web, which works in 200 countries, also shared evidence that their ads and accounts were blocked on many platforms.

Google emphasizes that it has clear policies for such ads, some of which are determined by local laws and control systems, while Facebook draws attention to the fact that they have activated some of the ads blocked by mistake .

The company also emphasizes that the top ads in the search lists are determined by the advertising prices they pay, as well as criteria such as “general quality” and “suitability”.

MSI South Africa official Whitney Chinogwenya, on the other hand, says that abortion clinics find themselves in competition with black market drug sites or anti-abortion clinics in order to advertise, which causes budget problems.

He adds that the ads of the sites selling these invalid abortion pills get ahead of them in Google searches.


According to MSI, many women like Missy are seeking help with miscarriage on internet forums and encountering advice on unapproved drugs or residential cures.

The BBC also observed that in some Facebook clusters that she examined, women desperately tried residential treatments, and when these did not work, they wrote to the site again a few days later, and some women followed suit for abortion drugs.

Mara Clarke, the founder of Northern Ireland-based Abortion Support Network (Abortion Support Network), stating that some drugs with proven effectiveness can sometimes be used in the wrong dose and in the wrong order, says that drugs such as Misoprostol, which is used to terminate pregnancy in medicine, can be the only cure for women.

In order for Misoprostol to be effective, it must be taken in the dose recommended by the physicians, together with the drug with mifepristone, and many women may not follow these recommendations.

Clarke points out that sometimes fake sites that claim to sell these drugs don’t “steal the money” of women and then don’t send them.

Getty Images Two drugs used to terminate pregnancies; misoprostol and mifepristone.

These sites and forums are referenced not only by those living in countries where abortion is illegal. This is also common in countries where advertisements for abortion pills and abortion are legal, such as South Africa, because abortion is still not accepted in society.

MSI’s Chinogwenya says, “When you look at these facilities that are supposed to provide abortion services, you see that not only access to abortion is problematic, but access to information about abortion is problematic.”

Getty Images Using guava leaves is also one of the false abortion recommendations on the internet.


Myths about reproductive health have been circulating on the internet for a long time.

According to Abigal Sambo, who provides sexual health education to youth in Zambia for the organization Youth Development, there are women who insert cassava leaves in their vaginas for abortions, and there are also women who seek help from boiled Coca -Cola.

Many young women who do not have regular access to the Internet seek advice from their grandmothers or the people around them.

On the other hand, the difference of the internet is that information can spread rapidly and it is the norm to advertise with prices in order to reach women.

According to some experts, this discussion about abortion reveals that tech companies deciding what information can be shared on their platforms can be as wasteful as they are helpful.

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