By Jenifer Bowen, Executive Director, Iowa Right to Life
Editor’s note. The following is a letter to the editor of the Des Moines Register. The Register’s editorial board has written a tone-deaf defense of Jennifer Whalen, a mother who ordered chemical abortifacients over the Internet for her then 16-year-old daughter.
It’s amazing the Register’s editorial staff can write about a teenager who ended up in the emergency room after taking abortion drugs (misoprostol and mifepristone) her mother ordered over the Internet and still insist this drug [combination] is safe.
If abortion is a “simple medical procedure with little risk of complications,” as the editorial says, how did this teenager end up in the hospital? If there are no complications, why does Planned Parenthood, which distributes the same abortion drugs, say on its website, “During the abortion pill (medication abortion) visit, you must agree — before you start — that you will have an in-clinic abortion if the abortion pill does not work”?
Another teenager, Holly Patterson, didn’t order the abortion drugs over the Internet. She got them from Planned Parenthood in California. Unlike Jennifer Whalen’s daughter, Holly’s parents didn’t know about it. Unlike Jennifer Whalen’s daughter, when Holly finally went to the emergency room, it was too late. She died from an infection from an incomplete abortion.