During the COVID-19 pandemic, a judge allowed the legal distribution of abortion pills online, something certain abortion activists had been doing illicitly for years. But with the Supreme Court set to weigh in on an abortion case this fall, the abortion industry is preparing for the possibility that online abortion pill distribution could become illegal.
An article published in Politico focused on the industry’s attempt to thwart pro-life efforts to protect preborn children. Much of that, unsurprisingly, involves abortion pills being delivered online. “Many patients are turning to online groups, some quite large: Aid Access, one of the most prominent online abortion providers, said it receives requests from almost 30,000 women per year,” the article read. “And online groups say demand boomed during the pandemic. Aid Access’ requests jumped 27 percent from March 20 to April 11 last year, according to a paper in Obstetrics & Gynecology.”
If Roe v. Wade is ever overturned and some states heavily restrict abortion or make it illegal, pro-abortion groups are already planning to break the law by sending abortion pills obtained online regardless. “If Roe goes down — we hope it won’t — there are always going to be ways to access abortion,” Elisa Wells, a co-founder of Plan C, told Politico. “Plan C included, we’re already working on alternative ways to access the pills.”
Plan C is a pro-abortion organization that helps connect women online to people willing to mail them abortion pills.
The dangerous truth of DIY abortions is shrugged off by Politico — as well as the pro-abortion activists interviewed — as nothing more than overblown rhetoric from the pro-life movement. Yet it’s not rhetorical; it’s reality. One woman, Ursula Wing, was arrested for selling abortion pills illegally online, using a jewelry business as a front. She sold abortion pills to thousands of women, and yet what brought her operation down wasn’t a woman. It was a man.
Jeffrey Smith was caught buying abortion pills from Wing and trying to slip them in his girlfriend’s water bottle in an effort to force an abortion. Coerced abortions are far from rare, but online abortion pills will make it even easier for men to get rid of unwanted children. The process is so easy that an undercover pro-lifer was able to buy abortion pills online from two different companies without a doctor ever being involved or the pro-lifer’s identity being verified. The pro-lifer in question was male; all he had to do was give a female name to each company, which were listed by Plan C as “safe” and “reliable,” and he received abortion pills online, no questions asked.
Additionally, distributing abortion pills online opens the door to horrifying complications for women, which the abortion industry rarely discusses. Mild side effects include cramping, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, while more serious complications include uterine hemorrhaging, viral infections, sepsis, vaginitis, and even death.* This doesn’t include the potential problems women risk if they underestimate the baby’s gestational age, or if they have an ectopic pregnancy, either of which can lead to serious or life-threatening complications. At least two women in the United Kingdom died last year after taking abortion pills without supervision, as well as a 28-week preborn child — meaning the mother took the pills 18 weeks later in pregnancy than is recommended.
On top of the potential risks, DIY abortion pills at home leave a woman alone and unsupervised as she experiences the pain and trauma of abortion. Far from the “easy experience” abortion activists promise, women have described the abortion pill regimen as “horrific,” “terrifying,” “humiliating,” and like “the scene of a murder.”
*Editor’s Note: The FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in women who took Mifeprex. As of December 31, 2018, there were reports of 24 deaths of women associated with Mifeprex since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; and several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal. The adverse events cannot with certainty be causally attributed to mifepristone because of concurrent use of other drugs, other medical or surgical treatments, co-existing medical conditions, and information gaps about patient health status and clinical management of the patient. A summary report of adverse events that reflects data through December 31, 2018 is here.
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