by Steven Ertelt
September 8, 2004
Lisbon, Portugal (LifeNews.com) — In a surprising development, international abortion advocates have admitted that using misoprostol as an abortion drug is dangerous for women. The group came under fire yesterday for encouraging women to misuse the ulcer drug as an impromptu abortion pill.
Earlier this week, operators of the Dutch abortion boat Borndiep, knowing they could not dock in Portugal to distribute the RU 486 abortion drug to women, appeared on Portuguese television telling women they could use the ulcer drug misoprostol (or Cytotec) to induce abortions.
On Wednesday, the pro-abortion Women on Waves admitted using the over-the-counter ulcer drug for abortions is not safe.
"Abortions with misoprostol are less safe and less reliable than a normal abortion by a doctor," the group said on its web site.
Women on Waves (WOW) admitted that the makeshift abortion drug could fail as much as 10 percent of the time, leaving women in dangerous medical situations.
"There is a risk of heavy bleeding for which a woman will have to be treated by a doctor," WOW said on its web site. "Also Misoprostol can cause very strong cramps, nausea and vomiting."
One leading women’s advocate is outraged and says Women on Waves is putting women at risk.
"WOW’s website states that women die from illegal abortions because they have no doctor while simultaneously telling women how to self induce, knowing full well that this can result in death," Feminists for Life president Serrin Foster told LifeNews.com.
The Dutch group tells Portuguese women, living in a country where abortion is illegal, to travel to another country to find medical help if the misoprostol abortion goes awry.
"There is the risk of a non successfull [sic] attempt," WOW writes. "The pregnancy goes on. In that case you will have to travel to a country where abortion is legal or find a doctor you trust."
Women who are bleeding excessively following a botched abortion with misoprostol would likely require immediate medical attention. Traveling to another country may not be an option.
Foster said WOW is irresponsible for telling women to engage in dangerous self-abortions and leaving them with no follow-up medical care.
"They sail away long before long term ramifications manifest themselves," Foster said.
"It would be enlightening for them to see, years later, if their former clients have been able to conceive again, if they have cancer, if they have tried to commit suicide," Foster explained. "What would they say to women who found out firsthand — and too late — that they were wrong?
Though misoprostol is the second part of the two-part RU 486 abortion drug, WOW advises women in countries where abortion is legal not to use it.
"Misoprostol should never be used in a country where abortion is legal," the Dutch group said.
Women on Waves also encourages women to lie to doctors to obtain a prescription for misoprostol, if necessary.
"Sometimes a prescription is needed for Misoprostol … Misoprostol is a medicine for stomach pain, Artrotec for pain in the joints. So ask for these medicines with those complaints," WOW advises. "If there are problems in the pharmacy, maybe a male friend or partner will have less problems getting the medicines, or perhaps a doctor will prescribe them."
For Foster, Women on Waves’ insistence that women turn to abortion to solve their problems highlights how the pro-abortion group fails to help women.
"WOW does nothing to change the situation in which women find themselves," Foster explained.
"We understand when women miscarry that it is an incredible loss. When a woman would intentionally miscarry, doesn’t that speak volumes about how desperate she is? How will abortion solve her problems," Foster asked.
WOW officials "simply sail away leaving destroyed lives in their wake," Foster concluded.