The use of the abortion pill, also called a chemical abortion, now accounts for more than half of all abortions performed in the United States. Its use has changed the public landscape for efforts by the pro-life movement in that abortion clinics are no longer the primary location where abortions are performed. Instead, they occur in thousands of apartments and houses across the nation, often with no one there to help or support a young woman if something goes wrong. And as more and more information collected about the use of the abortion pill, it appears that “something goes wrong” fairly often.
Recent data compiled by the Charlotte Lozier Institute clearly shows that using the abortion pill is creating serious health risks to young girls and women that pro-abortion advocates are ignoring. The dangers are so serious that a group of doctors and medical organizations has filed suit against the FDA for approving the use of the abortion pill, citing the FDA’s violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and its enabling legislation. For example, to approve the abortion pill, the FDA had to classify pregnancy as an “illness” and assert that the abortion pill provided a “therapeutic benefit” to women with this “illness.”
The abortion pill works by introducing a drug, mifepristone, which blocks a women’s uterus from utilizing progesterone, a hormone necessary for a pregnancy to remain viable. As a result, the baby detaches from the uterus, causing it to die from a lack of oxygen and nutrients. A second drug, misoprostol, is then taken, which induces uterine contractions. This causes the young woman to expel the deceased baby from her womb. But this “simple” procedure, in real life, is fairly traumatic, as many women are finding out in unpleasant ways. The FDA, whose purpose is to ensure that drugs are safe for use, is instead ignoring the dangers of the abortion pill.
The FDA’s Rules Have Increased Abortion Pill Risks
Since the abortion pill was legalized in the United States, the laws regulating its distribution have become laxer. The result is that there is less medical oversight for women who take the abortion pill, resulting in more serious medical problems.
For example, the pill was initially approved only for pregnancies that were seven weeks gestation or less. Now, it is approved for pregnancies of up to 10 weeks gestation, which increases the likelihood of complications. The FDA also expanded who may prescribe the drug so that licensed doctors are no longer the only medical personnel who may approve its use for a given patient. An in-person health visit is no longer required; women can obtain the prescription after a telehealth visit – a visit that does not require the prescribing person to have actually seen that patient or know that patient’s medical history. This also means that the prescribing person is not required to verify the gestational age or health status of a particular pregnancy through an examination. The pills can be sent through the mail. In one case, this state of affairs led to Planned Parenthood personnel prescribing the drug to a woman over 30 weeks pregnant, causing her to give birth to a stillborn, fully-formed baby in her toilet.
To compound the problems caused by these lax rules, the FDA also does not require doctors to report complications resulting from the use of the abortion pill unless they result in the mother’s death. This means the numbers cited below are likely much lower than the actual incidents arising from using the abortion pill.
Medical Complications Of Using the Abortion Pill
The abortion pill is not like other pills. Instead of being intended to restore health to an ailing body, it is formulated to completely disrupt the natural and proper functioning of a healthy body. Is it any surprise, then, that medical complications arise?
Again, because the FDA does not require physicians to report complications that do not result in a woman’s death, the data here probably understates the likelihood of experiencing medical problems. In fact, in one year, Planned Parenthood alone recorded twice as many complications from the abortion pill in its clinics than were reported to the FDA.
Here are a few items that stand out in assessing the risks of taking the abortion pill.
- Chemical abortions are four times more likely to involve complications than surgical abortions; the rate of complications is about 1 in 5.
- 7% to 10% of women who take the abortion pill in the first trimester are likely to experience complications that require surgery; for women who take it in the second trimester, the likelihood increases to 39%.
- As many as 1 in 7 women will experience hemorrhaging, and 1 in 50 will get an infection.
- 1 in 20 women will have to visit an ER within 30 days of their chemical abortion.
- The FDA has not undertaken any studies to determine how the abortion pill affects adolescent girls who take it while their bodies and reproductive systems are still developing.
- Bleeding associated with a chemical pregnancy can mask symptoms of a tubal rupture caused by an ectopic pregnancy. Not requiring an ultrasound before prescribing the drug means that women who undergo a chemical abortion are at risk of bleeding to death (ectopic pregnancies account for about 1% of all pregnancies).
- As many as 60% of the women who experience complications and end up in the ER mislead ER personnel by claiming they are having a miscarriage; this leads to the wrong treatment, and the resulting problems often require future hospitalization or treatment.
- By making the abortion pill so easy to obtain without medical oversight, young women are susceptible to being given the drug without their knowledge and against their will by traffickers or abusive partners, suffering the attendant medical and psychological problems that result from a forced abortion.
- Despite under-reporting, the FDA has recorded at least 26 deaths of women caused by the abortion pill.
Given these facts, you would think that pro-abortion advocates, who assert that they champion women, would be concerned about the adverse consequences of the widespread use of the abortion pill. You would be wrong.
Pro-abortion advocates welcome this state of affairs. They have always thrived on hiding what they actually advocate: killing an innocent human life by forcing it out of the womb of a scared young woman. And if they can further keep the dangers of the abortion pill under wraps and continue to distribute the abortion pill to young, impressionable, uninformed, and scared women without actually having to look them in the eyes, the better it is for their cause. Deception is the coin of their realm.
Here at ProLifeDoc, life is not just a cause, it is the heart of a creed. Life is a gift created by God, to give joy to his creatures and manifest His greatness and glory. Any doctor who does not see life as a fundamental good has no business being a doctor. Thankfully, many doctors understand this, and are making tremendous strides in curing and treating problems in preborn children, saving lives and giving hope. For more information about ProLife Doc’s ministry or to donate, contact ProLife Doc today.