Abortion Pill

MIT calls mail-order abortion pill a top 10 ‘breakthrough technology’ for 2023

abortion pill, abortions

MIT Technology Review recently named its “10 Breakthrough Technologies” for 2023 — and companies that send the abortion pill through the mail have made its list. Though the pill’s medication cocktail is lethal for preborn children and riskier than early surgical abortion for women, the organizations that send it via mail are being hailed as a major win for women in America since the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

In an article detailing the honor, writer Rebecca Ackerman names a number of companies that provide abortion pill via mail, including Choix, Hey Jane, Aid Access, Just the Pill, Abortion on Demand, Planned Parenthood, and Plan C. “Though the process varies by service, eligible patients generally sign up with a photo ID and then consult with a medical provider via video call, text, or app,” Ackerman explains. “The provider prescribes the pills, which the service ships to the patient.”

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Ackerman also notes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed the abortion pill cocktail, which consists of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, safe and effective. Yet, though the FDA under the Biden Administration has loosened its regulations surrounding the abortion pill following a campaign to do so spearheaded by those within the abortion industry, the facts clearly show that abortion pill use is riskier than first-trimester surgical abortion. Recently-released FDA data reveals that as of June 2022, 28 deaths have been associated with the abortion pill since 2000.* Further information related to the FDA’s relationship with the abortion pill can be found here.

There are numerous risks associated with the abortion pill, including hemorrhaging, incomplete abortion, severe pain, and infection that can cause death. Studies both in the U.S. and UK show that six percent of women who take the abortion pill end up in the emergency room with complications. This number may also be vastly underestimated, as women have been encouraged to hide the fact that they’ve undergone a chemical abortion if they do go to the hospital, and since 2016, the FDA no longer requires the reporting of abortion pill complications other than death.

In addition to physical complications, many women experience trauma after delivering and seeing the body of their dead child while alone, at home. 

Sending abortion pills via mail presents additional risks to women. Without receiving a blood test, ultrasound, or physician visit first, it is impossible for a provider to determine the mother’s true gestational age, whether she has an extrauterine pregnancy, or has any contraindications for the abortion pill. Taking the abortion pill past the approved 10-week limit increases the risks to women and increases the pill’s rate of failure. This “no-test” protocol could even impact the ability of women who are Rh-negative from having children in the future. 

In addition to the dangerous side effects it presents to women, the abortion pill has caused the deaths of 5.6 million children in the United States since it was first approved in 2000.

*The FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in patients who took mifepristone. As of June 30, 2022, there were 28 reports of deaths in patients associated with mifepristone since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy located outside the womb, such as in the fallopian tubes) resulting in death; and several fatal cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis). 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 June 30, 2022, is here. The FDA has reviewed this information and did not identify any new safety signals. The FDA intends to update this summary report as appropriate.

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