As reported by Marie Smith at the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, national and international groups that promote abortion, the European Union, donor governments and the broader international community want all humanitarian aid for Ukraine to include reproductive health kits that include “mifepristone and misoprostol for medical abortion.”
How will women and men, already suffering from the emotional shock of war and displacement from their homes, be served by the use of such abortion-inducing drugs?
Will these abortion pills increase the health and emotional stability of those facing an unplanned pregnancy?
Here in the U.S., in March 2016 the FDA approved the use of the abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol for women up to 10 weeks pregnant. Now more than half of all abortions in the United States are chemical abortions and this number will likely continue to rise.
Women and couples may see the pills as an easier solution than a medical procedure at the abortion center, one that merely initiates an early miscarriage. However the actual experience of the abortion pill can be a shocking and traumatic event.
A woman shares:
“I was six weeks pregnant and after an extended period of severe cramping the child was delivered in our bathroom. My partner had to fish the tiny child out of the toilet.”
The father buried their child in their back yard. He frequently visited the “grave site” as he struggled to process the grief and trauma of that event. They found significant emotional and spiritual healing of that experience by attending a Rachel’s Vineyard weekend, but they remain wounded by that abortion individually, and as a couple.
Licensed Professional Counselor Cullen Herout writes about the psychological and physical trauma associated with chemical abortion in the home: “If the locus of a negative abortion experience is a surgical center, it is less difficult to avoid triggers that might elicit negative thoughts or emotions.”
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When the couple performs the function of abortionist, and their bedroom, bathroom and shower serves as the abortion center and procedure room, it is impossible to avoid such triggers, he says.
Herout adds, “Women and their partners need to understand the psychological risks of at-home abortions and the likely individual and relational impact of labor and delivery of early pregnancies in the home.”
There are medical risks associated with chemical abortion. One study found a complication rate of 20 percent for abortion drugs compared to 5.6 percent for surgical abortions. Hemorrhage and incomplete abortion, often requiring emergency medical treatment, were among the most common complications.
Is this the type of essential humanitarian aid needed by women and families already facing shocking displacement and emotional trauma?
Or will it only exacerbate the pain, fear, and trauma women are already experiencing?
The answer is clear. To respond to the human suffering caused by the violence and disruption of war, taking more innocent lives isn’t the answer, and attacks the hope and future of Ukraine; the next generation.
Life-affirming humanitarian assistance, together with support from pro-life groups and faith communities, can assist pregnant women and their babies, displaced by war, with food, shelter, and clothing.
LifeNews Note: Theresa Burke, Ph.D., is the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard and a pastoral associate of Priests for Life. She is the co-author of Forbidden Grief and Rivers of Blood, Oceans of Mercy. Kevin Burke, LSW, is a pastoral associate of Priests for Life and co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard. An expert on men and abortion loss, he is the author of Tears of the Fisherman and co-author of Rivers of Blood/Oceans of Mercy.