By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund
The abortion industry has sold an increasing number of chemical abortions by peddling the idea that these are not only “new and improved” but (unlike the surgical ones women may fear) are easy, safe, and simple. When they actually take these powerful abortifacients, however, women often find that the results are far different.
After Monty Patterson’s daughter Holly died of a rare infection in 2003 after taking RU-486, he made it his personal mission to alert the public to dangers associated with the two-drug abortion technique. He spent years collecting research on RU-486 and women’s stories of their experiences with the drug, eventually publishing that data on a website. (See http://nrlc.cc/11CwBLj.)
In recent days, Patterson has posted a story based on his interview of a young woman going by the name of Isis, who recently took RU-486 to abort her young baby.* (The background to the story and the interview itself is available at http://abortionpillrisks.org/real-stories/isis-story.)
From what she read on line and from what they told her and gave her at the clinic, Isis expected the abortion process to simple and safe. But her experience proved to be a nightmare.
On April 11, 2013, Isis went to a clinic in Brooklyn, New York to have an ultrasound and discuss her options. That discussion was minimal. “They did not discuss any options with me and pretty much just let me have the pill because it was the first thing I mentioned.” Isis says “I chose the pill method because I felt it would be the easier and safer solution … Wrong!!”
According to what Isis told Patterson, the clinic appears to have failed to give her the information forms the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided for patients and employed a protocol other than the one approved by the FDA.
In a “Mifeprex Medication Guide”(Mifeprex is the U.S. trade name for mifepristone, commonly known as RU-486) the FDA outlines its protocol for women taking RU-486: three pills of RU-486 given the first day, two pills of the prostaglandin misoprostol on day three, and a follow up on day 14 to be sure there was a complete abortion.
The FDA warns women of “serious and potentially life-threatening bleeding, infections, or other problems” that can and have occurred among women aborting with this drug.
Isis says “I was never given a medication guide… Now, sadly, I’m just learning this vital information.”
Isis says she was given one mifepristone pill, not three, and given four pills of misoprostol which she was told to take home and instructed to place in her vagina that evening. The FDA protocol says to take the misoprostol orally, and the “Medication Guide” notes that in most of the cases where RU-486 patients have died, misoprostol was used in the vagina.
Isis notes that within three hours of taking the misoprostol, she had begun bleeding and experienced chills. By the fifth hour, she reported being dizzy and “feeling like I was on 10 different drugs.” She had diarrhea.
“I was in pain,” Isis says, “not just cramps, but utter exhausting pain. My whole body felt wobbly and drained. I’ve never felt this before and I believed in that moment I would die!”
She fainted and hit her head on the corner or the sink. When she woke up on the bathroom floor, she says she was “still drowsy and barely able to walk.” She looked and saw a huge blood clot, “the size of a soft ball” in the toilet.
Next, Isis says, “I stumbled to the bed room and my vision became darker and very soon I was blind. Yes, I was blind and more scared than I’ve ever been in my whole life!” She called out to her boyfriend “I can’t see I can’t see! Help!”
She became hot and had trouble breathing.
Isis told Patterson that she prayed, rested, and tried to calm herself down. She got some cold air. Her boyfriend brought her some juice to restore some of the lost fluids and her vision finally returned.
Two days after the crisis, Isis was still bleeding, still concerned about a weird, uncomfortable feeling in her stomach, afraid of the possibility of infection, but said she hoped the worst was behind her.
Isis was very unhappy with the treatment she received at the clinic. She never seems to have seen a doctor, being shuttled around between nurses, physician’s assistants, and other clinic personnel, all giving her different information.
“I felt victimized by these people,” Isis told Patterson. “They did not tell me what to expect AT ALL.”
She talked about feeling like she was being “pushed around” and pressured into making “rash decisions” and being “yelled at when I inquired about more information.” They gave her, she says, “a sheet of paper with very brief instruction.” Antibiotics were not mentioned.
Pain was almost an afterthought. “In her exact words,” Isis said (quoting what seems to have been the nurse), “Oh and Motrin for the pain.”
As far as side effects, the nurse “made it seem like whatever was going to happen was not a big deal. Even the sheet they gave me made it sound that way.” They informed Isis that there would be large blood clots, but not to worry and told her to call the ER if she had a fever over a 100°.
Isis says she received a piece of paper on “STEPS TAKING RU486″ that gave a bare outline of the procedure and another paper discussing the cost of procedure. However she says she received nothing as far as informed consent forms explaining the process, side effects, and risks.
“I received nothing of the sort,” Isis told Patterson. “The instruction I go from them… makes everything seem so easy, huh? Doesn’t tell much about anything.”
Isis says, “I find it hard to trust these clinics.” Many of these clinics take advantage of women, Isis feels. They count on women to follow them because their staff are wearing white coats and presenting themselves as having the woman’s best interest in mind.
But Isis identifies what she really thinks is going on: “I definitely think clinics are motivated by profit rather than health.”
Isis found her whole experience at variance with the picture of the abortion pill put forward by the industry. What she originally read on-line made her think the chemical method was “easier and simpler.”
Her own experience was a “freakish nightmare.” Isis says unequivocally, “I would not recommend this pill to my worst enemy and I urge other young women to make more informed choices.”
* Isis says she was determined to be 5 weeks, 4 days pregnant, but is unclear whether this is gestational age, dated from her last menstrual period, or fetal age.
Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org