Indian entrepreneur Mohan Kale has a solution for some of the 21.6 million women who resort to unsafe abortions every year.
His drug-sourcing company Kale Impex has teamed up with Dutch-based NGO Women on Web. They enable women in those countries where terminations are illegal – or highly restricted – to access painless medical abortions.
It’s a service in great demand. They receive more than 2,000 inquiries every week, from places as diverse as Kenya, Northern Ireland, Brazil and Poland.
Kale knows the stakes are high. ‘Many times, in the absence of proper means, desperate women consume toxic chemicals like caustic soda to pull off an abortion,’ he told The Guardian. ‘As a supplier, I am always running against time to get the drug where it is needed.’
The two pills required for a medical abortion are mifepristone and misoprostol. Despite many medical studies that prove they are safe to use, access to the pills is restricted in many countries. But they are legal in India and easily available with a doctor’s prescription.
A woman can apply for the pills online. First, a Dutch doctor approves the request subject to a review of answers about her medical history and pregnancy. A prescription is then sent to Kale’s company, in the city of Nagpur, from where the pills are posted at a cost of $97; if the woman can’t pay, the pills will still be sent.