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The Semantics of Chemical Abortion
Kate Maloney | 22 July 2021
It astounds me, and it should astound all of us, how language can be used as a means of indoctrination. Terms such as “healthcare” or “female liberation” serve as a Trojan horse. They look inviting, have a seemingly positive shine on the outside, but on the inside, they serve a cause that seeks to destroy with the deceptive veil of a gift. The way in which the abortion industry has bent the ontological nuance of language creates false impressions in our society. Those impressions have followed us into our legislature and seek to build and shape the world in which we currently live. Public influence is nothing short of what the abortion industry is after, and language is crucial in their power play.
This past year I have personally testified in multiple state houses throughout all of New England. It has been greatly concerning to me that members of a legislature would pass and advocate for dangerous and unethical laws under the banner of serving women. The legislation that they propose and defend diametrically opposes any true ideal of help or care for women. This fraudulent marketing is no accident; the abortion industry knows how to prey upon women before they even step into their facilities. One of their newer tactics is to force public universities to start administering the chemical abortion pill via their campus health centers. The main point being “on campus.” The next dream of the abortion industry is to turn public universities into abortion facilities.
Back in October of 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom passed SB-24, which mandated that taxpayer-funded universities dispense chemical abortion pills. With the passage of this dangerous bill, there has been a suspicious trend of this type of legislation making rounds in other state houses.
For example, on June 7th the Massachusetts Public Health committee heard public testimony on a bill remarkably similar to California’s SB-24. House bill 2399 and Senate bill 1470, the goal of which is to require public universities to provide medication abortion. “Medical abortion” or “medication abortion”, is corporate abortion’s way to refer to abortion provided by medication techniques. Even from the onset, these bills try to diffuse the grave reality of chemical abortion - foremost by use of terminology. The proponents of this bill carefully selected terms such as medication abortion. The abortion industry likes to call chemical abortion things like medical abortions, medication abortions, DIY abortions, or self-care abortions in an attempt to make this procedure appear benign and helpful. Certain legislatures presented the argument that chemical abortion - what they kept referring to as “medication abortion” - is completely safe and equivalent to a heavy period. This could not be farther from the reality of chemical abortion.
What happens in a chemical abortion is vastly different from a period. A chemical abortion is a two-pill cocktail, which upon ingestion or vaginal insertion results in the termination of the life of a preborn child. The two pills administered in a chemical abortion are mifepristone and misoprostol. The first pill, called mifepristone, blocks the progesterone receptors in a women’s reproductive system, starving the baby to death. Next, the woman will either ingest or vaginally insert misoprostol to terminate the pregnancy.[i] Within 6-48 hours, the misoprostol causes contractions and expels the remains of the baby. About five percent of the time, the drug combination does not work, and surgery is required to end the pregnancy.[ii] This does not qualify as pregnancy care if the goal of care is termination, nor does it constitute as healthcare when the active goal of the procedure is to end human life. A period is a physiological reaction in a woman’s body that happens every month when her progesterone levels fall, at which time she sheds her uterine lining, and her unfertilized egg. By the mere biological definitions, the disconnect between a chemical abortion and a young woman’s period could not be more evident.
House bill 2399 and Senate bill 1470 will endanger college women’s lives. These extreme bills highlight abortion access, but often lack regulation or concern for women’s health and safety, as illustrated by this legislation. These Massachusetts bills differentiate between “medical abortion readiness” and “medication abortion.”
As stated in the context of the bill -“medical abortion readiness,” each individual health center’s preparedness to provide medical abortions, would include, but would not be limited to, having in place equipment, protocol, patient educational materials, and training for staff. “Medical abortion readiness” does not include the provision of medical abortions.”[iii] To summarize, if a campus does not offer or is not suited for medical abortion readiness, it will not hinder the ability of the campus health center to administer chemical abortion pills. The bill does not define what kind of protocols or equipment staff will be privy to in “medication abortion readiness.”
Are campuses in a position to screen for ectopic pregnancies as well as the RH protein? The FDA has reported that women have died from chemical abortion because of an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy.[iv] This is due to the fact that symptoms of having a rupturing ectopic pregnancy, i.e., bleeding, pain, cramping, are the same symptoms a woman would experience during a chemical abortion.[v] Another standard practice for pregnant women is to be screened for the RH protein. If a woman is Rh-negative and is left undiagnosed, it will be detrimental for future pregnancies. It’s common in pregnancy care for women to go undergo these screening processes to ensure the health of their future pregnancies, as well as their own mental, emotional, and physical well-being. The FDA has also noted that a woman should not ingest mifepristone if she cannot go to a follow up visit to check on possible complications, has problems with the adrenal glands (located near the kidneys), is currently being treated with long-term corticosteroid therapy (medications), has had an allergic reaction to mifepristone, misoprostol or similar drugs, has bleeding problems or is taking an anticoagulant (blood thinning) drug products, has inherited porphyria, or has an intrauterine device (IUD) in place (it must be removed before taking mifeprex-mifepristone).[vi]
Alongside these medical warnings from the FDA, a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who have medical abortions have a four-fold higher risk for complications and other problems due to chemical abortion[vii] Other consequences include hospitalization and blood transfusions to address excessive bleeding. Physicians have reported that hysterectomies following complications from chemical abortion have occurred.[viii] Lastly, according to the National Abortion Federation textbook published in 2009, chemical abortion failure rate increases as the mother approaches 10 weeks gestation. At 7 weeks, there is a 7.9% failure rate, 8 weeks, there is a 17% failure rate, and at 9 weeks it reaches 22.5%. Women also run the risk of having an incomplete abortion, hemorrhaging, sepsis, and intense bleeding that lasts an average of 9 days - but can continue up to 45 days after the abortion.[ix] Currently, in the state of Massachusetts, abortion access is unlimited and fully funded by the state. The pressure for public universities to become abortion facilities is not only unethical but unnecessary. Twenty-four women that we know of have tragically lost their lives to chemical abortion.[x] These women were not patients served, they were lied to.
The abortion industry has twisted terms to serve their goal of serving their bottom line. They have successfully created a market for unsafe care for women in the name of access and equality, and this market has found its way into the Massachusetts legislature by means of House bill 2399, and Senate bill 1470. Empowering women means accepting the pregnant body. Pregnancy is not a disease cured by abortion. We are in a time now that universities, and society itself must rise to meet the needs of women rather than cater to a business that benefits from the termination of her children.
[i] Students for Life of America. (2021). What happens during a Chemical Abortion? This is Chemical Abortion. https://thisischemicalabortion.com/faq/.
[ii] Students for Life of America . (2021). What happens during a Chemical Abortion? . This is Chemical Abortion. https://thisischemicalabortion.com/faq/.
[iii] House No. 2399 An Act to require public universities to provide medication abortion (2021). bill.
[iv] U.S. Food and Drug Administration . (2021, April 13). Questions and Answers on Mifeprex . U.S. Food and Drug Administration . https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex.
[v] Charlotte Lozier Institute . (2019). Susan B. Anthony List & Charlotte Lozier Institute Chemical Abortion: Questions & Answers . Susan B. Anthony List & Charlotte Lozier Institute. file:///C:/Users/Kate%20Maloney/OneDrive%20-%20Students%20for%20Life%20of%20America/Chemabortion.pdf.
[vi] U.S. Food and Drug Administration . (2021, April 13). Questions and Answers on Mifeprex . U.S. Food and Drug Administration . https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex.
[vii] Niinimaki, M., Pouta, A., Bloigu, A., Gissler, M., Hemminki, E., Suhonen, S., & Heikinheimo, O. (2009). Immediate complications after medical compared with surgical termination of pregnancy. National Library of Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181b5ccf9
[viii] Willmott, F. J., Scherf, C., Ford, S. M., & Lim, K. (2008). Rupture of uterus in the first trimester during medical termination of pregnancy for exomphalos using mifepristone/misoprostol. Obstetrics and Gynaecology. https://doi.org/ https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01928.x
[ix] Paul, M., Lichtenberg, S. E., Borgatta, L., Grimes , D. A., Stubblefield, P. G., & Cremin, M. D. (2009). Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy, Comprehensive Abortion Care . Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
[x] U.S. Food and Drug Administration . (2021, April 13). Questions and Answers on Mifeprex . U.S. Food and Drug Administratio https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex.
Regional Coordinator, New England
Students for Life