By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. This appears in the April edition of National Right to Life News. Please be sure to pass along this story to your pro-life family and friends and any other story you find to be useful.
If you’ve followed the debate about the two-drug chemical abortion technique, you hear from proponents of “medication abortion” that it’s safe, safe, safe while opponents point to studies that show that the mifepristone/misoprostol is anything but safe.
For example, Dr. Christina Francis is CEO of American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). “Women and girls are being endangered and injured every day in our country through these dangerous chemical abortion drugs,” she has said. “I am a board-certified OB/GYN and I practice in an in-patient setting and I, personally, along with many of my colleagues, have seen women and girls come in through our emergency rooms with severe complications from these drugs. Complications that should be being addressed by the FDA. Complications like heavy bleeding and hemorrhage and the need for emergency surgery, the need for admission to the hospital for blood transfusions and infections, and even one of our members took care of a woman who likely will not be able to have children in the future because of major complications that required two major surgeries to correct these complications due to these chemical abortion drugs.”
But, for the most part, only opponents openly discuss how incredibly painful these abortions can be and often are. “How Painful is Medication Abortion?” is the headline in Medscape.
By no means a site sympathetic to our side of the debate, this article, written by Elena Ribodi, ought to be a wake-up call. The basis for her story is an Italian study published in December in the journal Contraception.
She writes, “It’s main conclusion? Increased baseline anxiety levels, dysmenorrhea, and no previous vaginal deliveries are associated with severe pain in women undergoing medication abortion.”
Let’s break those figures down.
Overall, “38% of the women reported severe pain during the medication abortion.” [Emphasis added.] Three in seven women report severe pain! That figure is one we haven’t read much—perhaps anything—about.
How about women who have anxiety? Riboldi writes, “The researchers noted a significant correlation between baseline anxiety level and pain perception: women with higher baseline anxiety levels were three times more likely to experience severe pain.” [Emphasis added.]
What about women who suffer from dysmenorrhea? (“Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful menstrual periods which are caused by uterine contractions.”)
Riboldi writes, “The numbers were even higher for those who reported dysmenorrhea within the year preceding the medication abortion. Compared with the other women, they were six times more likely.” [Emphasis added.]
What reduces the pain? “On the other hand, having a previous vaginal delivery considerably reduced the risk of experiencing that level of pain.” Having a live birth –a baby—“considerably reduced the risk of experiencing that level of pain.”
Of course, the researchers don’t want to stop medication abortion.’
“Physicians should protect a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy in the most comfortable setting possible. In addition, pain management during medication remains a problem.”
They conclude, “The identification of women at risk for severe pain may help to improve women’s care and pain management during medication abortion, making the procedure a more acceptable alternative to surgical abortion.”
I wonder if the percentage of women who have a medication abortion, which is now well over 50% of all abortions, have any idea what they are doing both to their baby and to themselves?
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