The abortion industry is talking out of both sides of its mouth about the supposed safety of the abortion drug mifepristone.
Over the past few years, pro-abortion groups, women’s magazines, the Biden administration, the World Health Organization and others have begun to proclaim the supposed safety of taking abortion drugs without medical supervision. Last year, the Women’s March even urged activist to stop using coat hangers and other “back alley abortion” talking points, saying they didn’t want to give the impression that “self-managed abortions are dangerous, scary and harmful.”
But they are, and a Planned Parenthood leader confirmed it in a recent interview.
Kara Cadwallader, the chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, warned of the dangers of “self-managed” abortions in an interview with the Idaho Statesman in December.
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Cadwallader made the comment while expressing alarm that a bill to ban abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable in Idaho would drive more women to seek “self-managed” abortions. Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed the pro-life legislation last week.
According to the report, Cadwallader told the Statesman “she was already seeing an increase in ‘self-managed’ abortions in Idaho. Cadwallader said many patients were using abortive medicine they’d ordered online and were at risk for infection and severe bleeding, possibly to the point of causing infertility.”
“Before Roe v. Wade, we’ve all heard stories of back-alley abortions, or coat hangers, or taking herbs to try to cause an abortion,” Cadwallader said. “Now women are often getting [abortion] medication from the internet. … There’s no one supervising their care at all, counseling them about what to expect. If they have a complication or problem, they have no one to watch out for them.”
Cadwallader blamed pro-life efforts, but the blame really is with abortion activists, medical “experts” and politicians who are recklessly promoting unsupervised, self-induced abortions.
Last spring, the Biden administration stopped enforcing safety regulations on the abortion drug and then, in December, got rid of the medical supervision requirement – supposedly because the drug is extremely safe. Now abortion businesses are selling the deadly abortion drug through the mail without ever seeing the woman.
The World Health Organization also just published a report advocating for “self-administered” abortions. Its new abortion guidelines claim “medicines for abortion can be safely and effectively administered at a health-care facility or self-administered outside of a facility (e.g. at home).”
Women’s publications, mainstream news outlets and others also are promoting self-induced abortions, saying it’s “safer than Tylenol.” Ms. Magazine has a whole series (free advertising) highlighting abortion groups that sell the abortion drugs online.
All this conflicts with Cadwallader’s statement and a growing body of evidence about the dangers of the abortion drug.
The purpose of the drug is to kill an unborn baby, but it is not safe for mothers either, especially when taken without medical supervision.
In England, the government recently reversed its decision to allow mail-order abortion drugs because NHS data showed women were suffering life-threatening incidents, including ruptured ectopic pregnancies and resuscitation for major hemorrhage, according to Right to Life UK.
In the United States, the FDA has linked the abortion drug to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications between 2000 and 2018. However, under President Barack Obama, the FDA stopped requiring that non-fatal complications from mifepristone be reported. So the numbers almost certainly are much higher.
A study, published in December in the journal “Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology,” found a “significant” gap in reports on abortion complications from mifepristone.
Another 2021 study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits by women taking the abortion drug increased more than 500 percent between 2002 and 2015. And a 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in “Obstetrics and Gynecology” found a complication rate of approximately 20 percent for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6 percent for surgical abortions. Hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were among the most common complications.
Added to these physical risks is the likelihood that self-induced, mail-order abortion practices are making it easier for abusers and sex traffickers to force abortions on their victims. Studies show a strong link between coercion, abuse and abortion, and without an in-person visit, it is even more difficult for abortionists to screen women for abuse.
The truth is that abortion is inherently dangerous, both for unborn babies and women, and pro-life efforts to end abortion protect both mother and child.