by Steven Ertelt
August 11, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — More information is coming to light about abortion businesses misusing the heart drug digoxin to do late-term abortions. They are putting the health of women at risk in order to get around the national ban on partial-birth abortions that the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional this spring.
As LifeNews.com reported last month, the misuse of digoxin has been around for years and abortion centers in the Detroit area are now using it to get around the ban.
Abortion facilities in Boston are also misusing the drug — despite research from one study showing it could have damaging effects to women if the drug is accidentally inserted into her body instead of the body of the unborn baby.
Digoxin is widely used in the treatment of various heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and congestive heart failure.
But the Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have adopted policies making the digoxin abortion process standard procedure for abortions in the second trimester.
In addition, Boston Medical Center has begun using the injections for later-term surgical abortions.
Staff members at the hospitals inject the digoxin drug into the bodies of the unborn children at 18 to 20 weeks’ gestation to ensure the baby is dead beforehand.
The partial-birth abortion ban made it clear that abortion practitioners can’t mostly deliver an unborn child before doing the abortion and killing her. SO, abortion practitioners are killing the baby first and delivering the dead child’s body second.
Despite their rhetoric claiming to have the best interest of women as their top priority, abortion practitioners appear willing to put women’s health at risk to do the abortions.
Philip Darney, chief of obstetrics at San Francisco General Hospital, has examined the use of digoxin to do second-term abortions and he told the Globe newspaper the injections can cause health risks for women and do not provide any medical benefit.
They found that, in some cases, it could be dangerous if it is accidentally injected into the woman instead of the baby.
The drug is administered with a long needle inserted into the abdomen and it has normal side effects such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. However, the drug can also cause premature delivery and there is a risk of infection.
The risk is great enough that Darney told the Globe he will not use digoxin for abortions.
Despite those medical concerns, the National Abortion Federation, a trade group for abortion businesses, is developing guidelines for using the drug to get around the partial-birth abortion ban.
Mark Nichols, an ob-gyn professor at Oregon Health & Science University, indicated he thinks the majority of abortion centers doing second-term abortions are already using digoxin.
He said he respects Darney’s concerns about women’s health but said he a "little bit more concerned about the risk for the faculty and staff" being prosecuted for doing illegal abortions.
Researchers at Yale University also studied the use of the drug and were surprised to see that women in the study who took digoxin died more frequently (33%) than women who took a dummy pill (29%).
They calculated that digoxin increased the risk of death in women by 23%.
The FDA approved digoxin in 1982 but abortion practitioners have been using it since the to kill the baby in second-trimester abortions.