The idea of at-home abortion, committed without any medical oversight or ever having to see a doctor or abortionist, has been growing in popularity in the abortion industry and among its defenders. For two years, women around the country ordered abortion pills illegally from Ursula Wing, a web developer in New York City, who was just looking to make income to pay for a custody dispute. Beginning in 2016, she would charge $85 for the pills — far cheaper than other online suppliers — and the women who received them never had to see a doctor or receive a prescription. Her ‘services’ were praised heavily in a feature article published at Mother Jones — but after two years, Wing was caught by the FDA, who showed up at her home and announced they suspected she was guilty of “inappropriate dispensing of prescription drugs and the distribution of ‘misbranded’ drugs using the mail.” She sold abortion pills to approximately 2,000 women before she was caught. While Wing was not arrested, an indictment is being prepared. Pro-abortion websites lamented the supposed injustice, but none of them seemed concerned about the dangers of selling women abortion pills without being seen by a medical provider first.
Despite the fact that Wing was illegally facilitating abortions, she is already being made out to be some kind of hero by pro-abortion websites like Jezebel. “Wing offered a bootleg version of the type of service that could be the future of abortion,” Jezebel blogger Prachi Gupta lamented. “But we are very much trapped in the present: as she awaits indictment, America is becoming more of an abortion desert, and people are running out of options.”
What Wing did was put women in legitimate danger, something that abortion advocates never acknowledge when they argue that self-induced abortions should be acceptable. While the abortion pill regimen may be less risky than a late-term abortion, there are still dangers involved.
If a woman simply orders abortion pills online, she will likely not be told the risks she is undertaking, or what the potential side effects are. Many women experience cramping, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Others could suffer even worse side effects, such as uterine hemorrhaging, viral infections, sepsis, vaginitis, and even death. While women are often told that the abortion pill regimen is like having a period, women who have actually experienced it have said that it is, in actuality, far worse; one woman called it “the worst experience, the most physically and emotionally painful thing, that I’ve ever been through.” Another described it as “emotionally scarring and physically horrible” while yet another woman said it was “the most painful experience ever in my life… [o]n top of emotional pain, when the second pill was taking effect, I had the most indescribable excruciating pain for more than 6 hours. It almost killed me.”
Other women have bled for months after taking it. And when a woman receives the pills illegally online, there is no one to ensure they are taking it safely, or that there are no underlying issues that could make the experience even more dangerous. If a woman miscalculates how far along she is, for example, that can lead to more serious complications. An undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy could likewise lead to life-threatening complications, which is exactly why at-home abortions without a doctor’s supervision are such terrible ideas.
During a medication abortion, a woman will first take Mifepristone, which blocks the hormone progesterone from reaching the uterus, effectively starving the preborn baby by cutting off their supply of blood and nutrients. One to two days later, the mother will then take Misoprostol, which will induce contractions and she will deliver the body of her baby.
Abuse by men
Illegal or unregulated sale of the abortion pill can lead to its use by abusive men who will do anything to avoid becoming fathers — which is how Wing ultimately was caught. A man named Jeffrey Smith ordered pills from her twice, and then slipped them into a woman’s drink to force the abortion of their unborn child. She had told him that she did not want to undergo an abortion and wanted to keep the baby, and continuously gave him updates about the pregnancy, including her hope that she would find out the gender of her baby. Smith allegedly slipped the abortion pills into the woman’s water bottle, but she noticed the residue at the bottom of the bottle before she drank it, and called police. Police tested the substance and found that it was, in fact, from abortion pills. Smith faces charges of attempted first-degree homicide of an unborn baby and delivery of a prescription drug.
Bizarrely, this does not seem to matter at all to Wing, who has no way to verify that the people ordering her illegal pills were actually women who wanted abortions, as opposed to men like Smith. Instead of showing regret, she told Mother Jones that she hopes more people follow her example of illegally selling the pills online, despite the possibility for more coerced abortions. “I want some copycats,” she said. “There’s not enough people doing this.” That women in abusive relationships could find themselves victimized is evidently not a concern to Wing or her defenders.
I’ve often wondered if my ex-boyfriend who raped me and threatened to kill me if I didn’t get an abortion slipped me a drug like this to induce a miscarriage. I’ll never know if I was with child or not, and that wrecks me every single day.
— Aimee Murphy (@RehumanizeAimee) February 20, 2019
Coerced abortions are not as uncommon as abortion activists would like people to think; the coercion can come from parents, abortion industry staffers and violent partners. Wing and others like her make it easier for predatory men to force women into abortions against their will — and yet, too often it seems that abortion defenders don’t care. The argument is one of “choice,” but there seems to be no concern when abortion is not the woman’s choice.
That Ursula Wing may be charged is not an injustice, but a way of protecting women. As abortion activists advocate for illegal at-home abortions, they are putting their own agenda above the well-being and safety of the women they claim to represent.
Editor’s Note: If you have taken the abortion pill or believe you’ve been given the pill against your will, visit AbortionPillRescue.com for help.
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