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March for Women says coat hanger symbols are banned and that DIY abortions are safe

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Those who have been engaged in the pro-life movement for an extended period have frequently encountered the argument that banning abortion will result in women dying from clandestine, illegal abortions. This argument has been a common one among those who support abortion rights. Pro-choice activists have claimed that tens of thousands of women died annually prior to the Roe v. Wade decision, whereas the actual number was a fraction of this figure.

In this article, Carole Novielli refutes the assertion that thousands of women died from illegal abortions prior to the Roe v. Wade decision. She also documents instances where former Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen made false statements about the number of women who would die if Roe were overturned. As recently as 2019, Wen was still claiming that thousands of women would die if Roe was overturned.

However, organizers of a major pro-choice event are sending a different message. The Women’s March, a pro-abortion march that took place on October 2, had some instructions on its website that may have been perceived as controversial. Under the heading, “What should I not bring,” it says:

“Coat hanger imagery: We do not want to inadvertently reinforce the right-wing talking points that self-managed abortions are dangerous, scary, and harmful.”

It appears that the assertion that illegal, self-managed abortions are “dangerous, scary, and harmful” has undergone a shift in its perceived value, moving from a pro-choice talking point to a pro-life one.

In recent years, the abortion industry has begun to explore the possibility of offering telemedicine abortions, which would allow women to receive abortion pills without ever receiving a medical exam from a doctor at the abortion facility. In some cases, those pills are now available through the mail. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously had a longstanding rule that women had to receive the abortion drugs from a certified provider at a clinic, hospital, or medical office, those rules have been temporarily waived due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FDA is currently considering removing the safety rules altogether, in response to pressure from pro-abortion legislators.

It is important to note that while it is now easier than ever to obtain the abortion pill, these DIY abortions can be extremely dangerous. One study found that they are four times more dangerous than surgical abortion. Furthermore, it is the emergency rooms — rather than abortion providers — that are dealing with the majority of resulting complications, such as hemorrhaging.

Despite the inherent risks, the pro-choice movement persists in advocating for self-managed abortions, whereby women procure abortion pills independently and proceed with the procedure without medical supervision.

The practice of self-induced, self-managed abortion has become a prominent feature of the pro-abortion agenda. Those who advocate for abortion rights are now asserting that abortions conducted outside the supervision of a medical professional, or what is colloquially referred to as an “illegal abortion,” are safe.

It is now pro-life advocates who are emphasizing the dangers of illegal abortion, while abortion supporters are promoting it.

Editor’s note: This was originally posted at Live Action News and reposted with permission.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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