As the nation awaits a ruling from a federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, that could halt the sale of the abortion drug mifepristone, abortion advocates are wailing and gnashing their teeth about the end of chemical abortion, while pro-lifers are joyful, thinking of the thousands of babies who might be saved.
Neither side is looking at this the right way.
Weeks before the March 15 hearing before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, abortion providers, including the nation’s largest, Planned Parenthood, announced plans to adjust the chemical abortion procedure if the judge rules that the FDA improperly approved mifepristone in 2000.
In a chemical abortion, a woman takes the first pill — mifepristone — to kill the baby in her womb by starving him or her of progesterone, which prepares the lining of the womb for the embryo to be implanted. A second drug, misoprostol, is taken 24 hours later, and it causes contractions that expel the dead baby from a mother’s womb. Misoprostol is not included in the lawsuit in Texas.
In some parts of the world, misoprostol is used alone to end a pregnancy, but the FDA has not approved it for solo use in the U.S. Still, abortion sellers are planning for misoprostol-only abortions if things don’t go their way in court. And this is the clearest indication I’ve seen in a long time that abortion profiteers are more interested in selling abortion than they are in safeguarding women.
Dr. Ingrid Skop, director of medical affairs for the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, said that misoprostol alone is dangerous for mothers, a fact overlooked by media reporting on the drug.
“Evidence from around the globe demonstrates that misoprostol alone is a poor abortifacient and very likely to cause injury to women,” she wrote on the organization’s website. “These recommendations by abortion advocates in the media demonstrate conclusively that their goal is not the safety and well-being of women, but merely the death of as many unborn humans as possible through expansion of abortion by any means.”
Chemical abortion, even with mifepristone, is a painful, bloody, and traumatic procedure. Women who are part of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign have described it in gruesome terms.
Patricia from North Carolina was told by a doctor that she might experience some bleeding. “The next day,” she writes, “at home alone with my infant son, I took the abortion pills. Within one hour I knew that everything the doctor had told me was a lie. I was bleeding so heavily, I believed I was dying. I was passing clots the size of baseballs, and I was in the worst physical pain of my life, worse than childbirth. The worst part of my experience was when I was sitting on the toilet and I felt myself pass a clot that felt strange. I looked into the toilet and saw my baby. It had a head, body, and tiny arms and legs. The shame and guilt that I felt at that moment, as I was forced to flush my aborted baby down the toilet, is impossible to describe.”
Dora, from Texas, describes what happened after she took the second drug, misoprostol.
“I put the pills in my mouth and let them dissolve, within 10 minutes I started to feel intense cramps. When the cramps became unbearable, I made my way to the bathroom. I locked the door and experienced the most severe pain I had ever felt in my life. I sat on the toilet and bent over in pain. I grabbed a towel to bite on, in order to keep from screaming and was nearly passing out. As I got up, I saw blood everywhere. I saw parts of my baby, an image I will never be able to erase from my mind. I fell to my knees in pain.”
Something else no one is saying about misoprostol abortion is that the babies could be expelled from the womb alive. People who work in healing-after-abortion programs say women are showing up much sooner after chemical abortions than is common with surgical procedures. The trauma of watching a dead baby — your own child — floating in a toilet is immediate. How much worse will that trauma be when the baby, too young to survive but very much alive, dies before his mother’s eyes?
That’s one possible outcome of the case in Kacsmaryk’s courtroom. No one should be happy about it.
Janet Morana is the co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and the author of Recall Abortion, Shockwaves: Abortion’s Wider Circle of Victims, and Everything You Need to Know About Abortion — For Teens.