Homeold“How Painful is Medication Abortion?” Plenty!

“How Painful is Medication Abortion?” Plenty!

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Those who have followed the debate about the two-drug chemical abortion technique have heard from proponents of “medication abortion” that it is safe. In contrast, opponents have pointed to studies that show that the mifepristone/misoprostol is anything but safe.

For example, Dr. Christina Francis is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). “Every day, women and girls in our country are endangered and injured by dangerous chemical abortion drugs,” she has stated. As a board-certified OB/GYN, I practice in an inpatient setting. I have observed, along with many of my colleagues, that women and girls presenting to our emergency rooms with severe complications from these drugs. These complications should be addressed by the FDA. Complications such as heavy bleeding and haemorrhage, the necessity for emergency surgery, the requirement for hospital admission for blood transfusions and infections, and even one of our members’ involvement in the care of a woman who will likely be unable to have children in the future due to significant complications that necessitated two major surgeries to correct these complications, were observed. These complications were attributed to the use of chemical abortion drugs.

However, it is opponents who are most vocal in discussing the pain associated with abortion. The headline of an article in Medscape is “How Painful is Medication Abortion?”

It is evident that this article, written by Elena Ribodi, does not espouse the views of those with whom we are in debate. It is therefore a valuable contribution to the discourse. The foundation of her narrative is an Italian study published in December in the journal Contraception.

The study’s primary conclusion is that… The study found that increased baseline anxiety levels, dysmenorrhea, and no previous vaginal deliveries are associated with severe pain in women undergoing medication abortion.

It would be beneficial to analyse the figures in greater detail.

In summary, 38% of women reported severe pain during the medication abortion. This figure represents approximately one-third of women who reported severe pain. This figure is one that has not been widely discussed in the literature.

One might also consider the case of women who experience anxiety. Riboldi notes that the researchers observed a significant correlation between baseline anxiety levels and pain perception. Women with higher baseline anxiety levels were found to be three times more likely to experience severe pain. [Emphasis added.]

A further consideration is the case of women who suffer from dysmenorrhea, which is defined as painful menstrual periods caused by uterine contractions.

Riboldi reports that the incidence of dysmenorrhea was even higher among those who reported such symptoms within the year preceding the medication abortion. In comparison to the other women, they were six times more likely. [It should be noted that this is an emphasis.]

What is the analgesic effect of the intervention? Conversely, a history of vaginal delivery was found to be a significant protective factor against experiencing the level of pain in question. The experience of vaginal delivery, which resulted in the birth of a live infant, was found to have a significant impact on the likelihood of experiencing the level of pain in question.

It is evident that the researchers are not in favour of ceasing the use of medication abortion.

It is the duty of physicians to ensure that women have the right to terminate a pregnancy in a setting that is as comfortable as possible. Furthermore, the issue of pain management during medication remains a significant challenge.

You think?

The authors conclude that the identification of women at risk for severe pain may facilitate the improvement of women’s care and pain management during medication abortion, thereby rendering the procedure a more acceptable alternative to surgical abortion.

It is curious to speculate whether the majority of women who opt for a medication abortion, which now constitutes over 50% of all abortions, are fully aware of the potential consequences for both themselves and their unborn child.


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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