Massachusetts Woman in Self-Abortion Case Talks About Her Actions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts Woman in Self-Abortion Case Talks About Her Actions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 30
, 2007

Lawrence, MA ( — A Massachusetts woman who was arrested after she used an anti-ulcer drug to kill her unborn child talked about her decisions. Amber Abreu, 18, used the drug to cause an abortion even though its maker warns it shouldn’t be utilized for that purpose. She now regrets her decision.

"If I could turn back the clock, I would do things differently," Abreu told the Eagle Tribune newspaper in an interview. "Those people who judge me don’t know what I’m feeling inside."

After using the drug, which failed to kill the child immediately, Abreu gave birth to a baby girl January 6 who weighed just 1.25 pounds.

Despite the delivery, baby Ashley Abreu was unable to be saved and she died four days later at a local Boston hospital.

She told the newspaper she named the baby Ashley because it sounded "almost angelic."

"This is going to haunt me for the rest of my life. I pray that one day, she (Ashley) can forgive me for making this decision. When I have a family, how am I going to explain to them what happened?"

As a result of her actions, Abreu was indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on charges of illegally producing a miscarriage and prosecutors considered charged her with the murder of the baby. They’ve since dropped those charges.

She told the Eagle Tribune she was relieved she won’t be charged for murder or manslaughter.

"I feel a little better about the charges," she said.

Abreu said she was scared and confused when she found out she was pregnant and she got the ulcer drug Cytotec, which is also known as misoprostol, from a friend who had visited the Dominican Republic, where she is from, and that she took them over a period of three days.

"I wasn’t sure if I was going to take the pills. I was afraid of what was going to happen," she said.

"I was in shock when they told me at the hospital I was having the baby," she told the newspaper after learning the anti-ulcer drug, sometimes misused by abortion businesses to cause abortions, didn’t work.

Some abortion practitioners engage in what is known as "off-label" use because it has been found to be relatively effective in producing contractions. The maker of that drug, Searle, has issued warnings in both the United States and Australia that the misuse is dangerous for women.

"I felt bad because I knew she was suffering," Abreu told the Eagle Tribune about her daughter’s death. "I felt guilty for what I had done. At that moment, I’d have done anything to let her live."

"I was hysterical when she died. I hugged her and kissed her," she indicated.

Abortion is legal up to the 24th week of pregnancy in Massachusetts and medical officials determined that baby was 25 weeks along at the time of birth.

The illegal miscarriage charge is a felony that involves the use of a drug to end a pregnancy without an abortion and includes as much as seven years in prison.

After spending a few days in prison, her family raised the $15,000 to get her out on bail.