As the pro-life movement continues to raise concerns about the proliferance of abortion pills, the abortion industry continues to push back any way it can. One of the latest examples is Twitter’s self-proclaimed medical expert on abortion, abortionist Jen Gunter, asserting that abortion is easier and safer for women than childbirth.
This week, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko from Arizona tweeted some of the potential risks and side effects of the abortion pill regimen, listing intense pain, excessive bleeding, infection, and death. It didn’t take long for Gunter to jump in, triumphantly boasting about “schooling” Lesko. But did she, really?
Rather than addressing the very real dangers of the abortion pill, Gunter attempted to point out all the ways childbirth is “worse” than taking the abortion pill – without mentioning, of course, that the goal of abortion is to ensure a child’s demise, while the goal of childbirth is to safely deliver a whole, living individual into the world.
Well, actually. No.
You are incredible uniformed or a liar. Which one is it?
Neither here nor there really, because I am about to take you to school. https://t.co/Oih594j15s
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) July 20, 2020
“First point,” she said. “Medical abortion can cause severe cramping. You know what is worse. Labor. Wanna guess what the pain of labor is equivalent to? Amputating a finger without anesthesia.”
Gunter then addressed bleeding, saying, “A pregnancy isn’t coming out of a uterus without blood, be it abortion, miscarriage, vaginal delivery or c-section. With a vaginal delivery the blood loss is about 500 ml and a c-section 1,000 ml. Restricting medical abortion = more blood loss.” Gunter followed this up by pointing out that the risk of infection for childbirth is higher than it is for abortion pills, before addressing the risk of death.
“How many women die from a medical abortion? 24 deaths out of 3.7 million doses. Erectile dysfunction medications, like Viagra, have a death rate of 4/100,000 users. Don’t the lives of men matter to you?” she nonsensically tweeted, adding, “[N]ationally the mortality in pregnancy is 18/100,000 live births and is it much higher for Black women. Why don’t you care about this? A woman is overall 40 or times more likely to die from being pregnant than a medical abortion.”
This argument was clearly seen as a slam-dunk for Gunter, who finished by gloating and mocking Lesko.
But there were several problems with Gunter’s claims.
First of all, let’s get real, here. Labor is the contracting of the uterine muscle, doing exactly what it was meant to do to deliver a child. Amputating a finger is a freak accident. The fact that Gunter even likens these two things in this manner is a complete scare tactic and total nonsense.
Secondly, when women are going through childbirth, they’re almost always doing so in a hospital. This is not the case with the abortion pill.
While maternal mortality is a problem in the United States, numerous health care systems are doing all they can to improve. If a laboring mother wants pain relief, there are multiple options to help control the pain of labor. The mother is surrounded by doctors and nurses to intervene if her blood loss becomes too heavy, or if there are signs of infection. She can immediately receive antibiotics, or receive a blood transfusion, or any other life-saving treatment that may be needed. While far from a foolproof process, women generally do not go through labor and delivery alone, unsupported, and afraid. Most importantly, women know what is about to happen when they choose to carry a baby. They know that the labor and delivery process will potentially be painful, and consent to it anyway.
The difference with the abortion pill couldn’t be more profound. Serious side effects of the drug are downplayed by the abortion industry (just like Gunter has done), and women are made to go through the process alone, in their own homes. Consider how Planned Parenthood describes the abortion pill regimen:
You may feel tired or crampy for a day or so, and you’ll have bleeding and spotting for awhile. Most people go back to normal activities the day after a medication abortion.
How you feel during and after a medication abortion varies from person to person. On the day you take your second medicine, plan on resting and being in a comfortable place. You may feel tired for 1 or 2 days after, but you should be back to normal soon.
Essentially, the abortion industry blithely tells women they’ll merely feel “tired or crampy,” but that it’s mostly not a big deal. The reality is quite different, according to women who have taken abortion pills. Women have reported bleeding for months afterward, while others describe it in horrific terms, such as:
- “the worst experience, the most physically and emotionally painful thing, that I’ve ever been through.”
- “The pill for me was the experience of having a baby. Contractions for 10 hours, sweating, screaming, being by myself. It was emotionally scarring and physically horrible.”
- “Nothing prepared me for what happened. First off it was the worst pain I have EVER felt in my life. And secondly, I SAW my baby. He/she looked so human already. I had no idea that my baby was so big after only 2 months. Just because you can’t see or feel it inside you doesn’t mean it’s not alive.”
- “I took my anti-nausea meds before taking the four pills, and then I took a Tylenol with codeine. None of which touched me. I ended up vomiting repeatedly in the bathroom for about 10 minutes. … About thirty minutes into laying on the couch, I was in agonizing pain, pacing up and down my kitchen, randomly screaming and crying…”
- “Nothing – not the drug literature, the clinic doctor, not even my own gyno – had prepared me for the searing, gripping, squeezing pain that ripped through my belly 30 minutes later. I couldn’t even form words …..For 90 minutes, I was disoriented, nauseated, and, between crushing waves of contractions, that I imagine were close to what labor feels like, racing from the bed to the bathroom with diarrhea.”
None of these women were adequately prepared about what to expect. They had no idea the seriousness of the pain they would feel, how much blood there would be, or the potential side effects. And despite Gunter’s downplaying of the risks, the abortion pill’s side effects are real, and can be serious. Non-life threatening complications can include cramping, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, whle more serious complications are also possible, such as uterine hemorrhaging, viral infections, sepsis, vaginitis, and even death. There are thousands of reported complications from the abortion pill, and yet, there are likely many more which remain unaccounted for because 1) half of states don’t have to report any abortion complications, and 2) some abortion groups encourage women to report abortion pill complications as the result of natural miscarriage, obscuring the true risks of the abortion pill from women.
One California study of women who paid for abortions via Medicaid showed a four times greater risk of complications from the abortion pill than from first trimester surgical abortions.
Women giving birth know to expect pain and potential complications. Women who receive the abortion pill do not. There is a significant lack of informed consent with the latter, something completely ignored by Gunter. But then, given her background, this is hardly surprising.
Gunter has previously lied about preborn babies’ heartbeats, has mocked the idea of providing help for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies, and has tried to claim that “life” is something solely dependent on the parents’ wishes. Gunter tries to pretend she’s arguing the scientific facts, but her goal is nothing more than that of anyone else in the abortion industry: to make sure abortion is as widespread and easily available as possible.
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