By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research
Over the past several years, you’ve seen many of the elements, one by one: the development of abortion drugs, the conjuring up out of thin air of bogus statistics about abortion and maternal deaths for developing nations, the use of the internet to sell and to facilitate chemical abortions, a bevy of studies purporting to show that women can use these drugs safely on their own, etc.
But now the pieces are coming together to reveal a larger global campaign to promote chemical abortions – with minimal to no medical supervision – in the U.S. and around the world.
The most recent signal is the development and promotion of a new website giving women instructions on how to use abortion drugs. It is called howtouseabortionpill.org.
It doesn’t directly tell women how to order these pills, but it links to organizations that do.
Many of the usual suspects – Rebecca Gomperts, Women on Web, etc., – are connected in one way or another. However what is particularly disturbing is that this new site is, at least in part, the official product of an organization once widely hailed for its humanitarian work, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), or by its English name, Doctors Without Borders.
In a January 23, 2020 online statement associated with release of the video series, MSF claims to be doing this because they believe that “abortion is a part of people’s lives and a key component of reproductive health care.” They say it is “essential that health care workers, humanitarian workers – and everyone for that matter – know the basics about abortion.”
MSF leads with the idea that this is for “health care workers.” But they quickly move on to “humanitarian workers” and finally to “everyone.” This reveals the broader agenda – to make these deadly pills available to women everywhere, regardless of their environment or circumstances, or (as MSF puts it) “no matter who you are, where you are, or where you are going.”
This is why MSF says they have “teamed up” with HowToUseAbortionPill.org “to create a free, open-source, evidence based online course on medication abortion, or abortion with pills.”
They do so by means of “five animated videos that provide a solid foundation in how to safety administer an abortion with pills and support women through the process.” We will address one of them today and then analyze the remaining four beginning on Thursday
VIDEO #1: Mifepristone & Misoprostol to Address the Mythical Epidemic of “Unsafe Abortion”
The first video, “Lesson 1: An Overview of Abortion,” largely repeats unsubstantiated claims that there are tens of millions of “unsafe abortions” a year in regions of the world where abortion is not legal or readily available. Relying the same sort of questionable sources, the video claims that these are responsible for 22,800 maternal deaths and another 7 million women being hospitalized with complications each year.
Generally, these figures are not from government counts or surveys of actual hospital records. Rather they are but estimates generated by organizations advocating for broad abortion legalization and/or funding.
There is reason to believe these counts are highly exaggerated, if not made up out of whole cloth. They may be based on nothing more than anecdotal reports of abortion activists that are then (and this is key) projected, employing broad, unsubstantiated assumptions, for the population as a whole.
The “solution,” of course, is “medication abortion,” or chemical abortions with mifepristone and misoprostol, or misoprostol used alone. Even though they will eventually grant that there are potentially serious risks if the woman has an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, contracts an infection, or her bleeding doesn’t stop, the video gives assurances that the drugs are “highly effective and very safe.”
Because of medical circumstances on the ground – the lack of availability of antibiotics, medical personnel and facilities, basic sanitation and clean water – maternal health is at risk in every “separation event,” whether mother and child are separated by abortion or by childbirth. Thus, given these circumstances, a new form of abortion won’t make things any safer for pregnant women. And because of new added risks, it could easily make things worse.
Editor’s note. Part Two will run on Thursday.