When the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan runs articles about women’s abortion experiences, it almost always promotes abortion as something good and necessary for women.
This week, the magazine published an interview with three women who aborted their unborn babies using the FDA-approved abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. The three women came from different backgrounds and life experiences; but the gist of their stories was the same – their abortions were easy, relatively painless and the best decision for them.
Through their stories, the women’s magazine pushed the abortion drug method as a safe and easy process that should be readily available to women who do not want to be pregnant anymore. The article did not feature any of the numerous stories of women who experienced extremely painful or incomplete abortions after using the drugs. And while the article briefly mentioned the possible risks for women, it did not mention that one of them is death.
Researchers have linked the abortion drugs to the deaths of at least 14 women in the U.S. and dozens more worldwide. In an April 2011 report, the FDA found that 2,207 women in the U.S. also were injured by the abortion drugs. A Planned Parenthood study also admitted at least one woman is seriously injured from the abortion drugs daily.
Cosmopolitan’s mission was to promote the abortion method. The magazine identified the three women only by their ages: a 20-year-old college student, a 27-year-old married woman, and a 39-year-old married woman and mother of two.
The 20-year-old college student said she wasn’t “completely happy with” her partner who got her pregnant, and she did not want to have a child with him. She listed her college classes and struggles with anxiety and depression as other reasons for her abortion.
The abortion itself was not a big deal, she said. After taking the abortion drugs at the abortion facility, she went home to wait for her dead unborn child to pass.
She recalled: “I went to the loo and passed the fetus. It wasn’t distinguishable as a fetus, but more like gray tissue. I knew what it was immediately but I felt relief, nothing else. I sat and looked at it on the [toilet paper] for a minute or so, just sort of to get closure, then it was gone. After that, the pain subsided quite a lot, and I was able to clean up and go back to sleep.”
Asked how she feels about her abortion now, the college student said: “It was a bloody good job I did. I’m no longer with my partner, my mental health hasn’t improved, and I generally couldn’t have looked after a child. I will never ever regret it.”
The 39-year-old said she had an abortion after her birth control failed. She and her husband have two young children, and quickly decided that they did not have the “time, energy or money” to handle another one. She said the abortion drug method appealed to her because she could have it done early in her pregnancy.
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“If I’d been far enough along to need a surgical abortion, I don’t think I would have done it,” the 39-year-old woman said. “I would probably think of the pregnancy more as a baby. Since I already have two children, I have gone through pregnancy before and always thought of the fetus as ‘the baby.’”
She described the abortion as similar to a “bad period,” a description that abortion facilities commonly use. Many other women have reported the experience being much worse, describing “agonizing pain” and massive bleeding. Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson said the abortion chain left her “in the dark” when she took the abortion drugs.
For the 27-year-old woman, married but with no children, her decision to abort her unborn child was largely based on financial instability. She described being “scared, horrified, excited, happy, sad” when she learned that she was pregnant.
“Although I agonized over it up until the moment before I took the pills, I knew I couldn’t carry to term,” she told the magazine. “If I’d had one thing set up, like a job, or my degree completed, I would have carried to term. It was an easy decision insofar that I knew it had to be made. But it gutted both me and my husband emotionally.”
She even insisted on seeing her unborn baby’s ultrasound image before the abortion.
“I saw my little bean … and I was in love. I have the picture and I’ll keep it until the day I die,” she said.
The abortion procedure itself was “easy and almost painless, I couldn’t have asked for more,” she said of the physical pain. Though her emotional pain as overwhelming, she said she does not regret her decision.
Though the women and the news outlet clearly wanted to get across the message that abortions are good for women, each of the women’s stories revealed emotional pain and turmoil.
One of the most heartbreaking thing about their stories was that two of the women refused to listen to people who spoke up for their unborn babies. The 27-year-old woman’s mother, who was post-abortive herself, urged her daughter not to make the same mistake she did. She pleaded with her daughter to give life to her grandchild.
“[My mother also had abortions after her first two children and before me, and] still grieves her abortions 30 years later …” the 27-year-old woman said. “I thought my mother would understand … What actually happened was her crying to me and pushing me to keep the pregnancy. She’d try and guilt me by saying, ‘It could be the next Obama!’ and, ‘God gave you this child for a reason,’ she then moved on to things like, ‘When I was pregnant with you we didn’t have anything and we made it.’”
The 20-year-old woman’s partner also did not want her to abort the child who they conceived together. He urged her to keep the child and “resented” her when she had the abortion.
Both women aborted their unborn babies anyway, denying them a life and a future.
The abortion industry pushes the abortion drugs as a safe, natural and non-invasive method that allows women to have abortions in the comfort of their own home. But this rosy picture is far from the reality that many women face. The abortion drugs leave many women scarred for life, sometimes physically and often emotionally as they realize that they ended the life of their unborn child.