Although purportedly about easing the pain of women experiencing miscarriage, NPR’s piece, “A Drug That Eases Miscarriages Is Difficult For Women To Get,” actually reveals a thinly-veiled attempt to use miscarriage as a way to make the abortion pill more widely available, aligning with the abortion industry’s trend of promoting dangerous DIY abortions.
The piece opened with the sad reality of a woman who, shortly after discovering she was pregnant, was devastated to discover she lost her baby. She said she chose the abortion pill to help complete her miscarriage because its availability in her home country of Canada would help reduce her interaction with doctors and allow the process to complete at home, where she could grieve. Mifepristone (brand name Mifeprex), the first pill in the abortion pill protocol, is a progesterone-blocking agent. In a first trimester medical abortion, mifepristone is the drug that causes fetal death. After this, misoprostol (also known as RU-486) is taken to cause contractions. Studies show that the combination of the two drugs makes a successful abortion more likely than using misoprostol alone. (Note: An abortion may be able to be halted/reversed if measures are taken quickly and if mifepristone alone has been taken.)
When using it to manage a miscarriage where the baby has already died, mifepristone works to soften the cervix and make the uterus more responsive to the misoprostol, thus shortening the length of time it takes for the miscarriage to complete.
In the United States, the FDA sets conditions for the administration of mifepristone. Because of the potential for serious complications of an incomplete miscarriage, the chances of which increase the later in pregnancy the protocol is given, mifepristone is restricted to certain doctors who are able to give appropriate follow-up care to patients. Doctors must register through REMS and can only administer to patients after an examination to determine whether the patient meets the criteria for prescribing it.
Mifepristone cannot be prescribed in, for example, an urgent care setting. If the patient’s miscarriage is incomplete for any reason and some portion of the baby or placenta is in the uterus, a potentially life-threatening infection could result and a surgical procedure would be necessary, according to the FDA and others. Additionally, if a patient’s baby has implanted outside the uterus in an ectopic pregnancy, she is not a candidate for mifepristone. While ectopic pregnancies are rare, life-threatening complications are probable if managed improperly.
The NPR author cites a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, as well as the American Medical Association and — against its own guidelines — the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG). “The FDA restrictions on mifepristone are motivated by politics, not science,” Julia Kaye, the lead attorney of the lawsuit, is quoted as saying. According to the ACOG’s own guidelines, however, upper gestational age and intrauterine (e.g. not ectopic) pregnancy must be established, necessitating a visit to an appropriate medical facility.
Mifepristone is not the only drug with this kind of restriction on who can take it or prescribe it. The acne drug Accutane has even more stringent restrictions, along with its specific Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) called iPLEDGE. Buprenorphine, Qsymia, and many other drugs with varying uses have their own REMS programs. The FDA, which approved mifepristone in 2000, does not appear to be highly responsive to the pro-life agenda. In fact, it recently relaxed guidelines on mifepristone, reducing the number of visits necessary, and reducing the dosage.
With all the weight of this evidence that mifepristone is appropriately restricted, there can be little doubt that NPR’s thrust is not to help women during miscarriages but to encourage the availability of abortion drugs for self-managed, first trimester abortions, especially for women in what have been called called “abortion deserts” with no nearby abortion facilities — a cherished goal of the pro-abortion lobby.
While pro-lifers have no problem with easing women’s pain through medically managed miscarriages, the push to make an appropriately-scheduled drug more widely available through inappropriate care appears to be a part of the trend towards “self-managed abortion” that abortion advocates push for, in the fear that abortion may one day become illegal. However, with a push towards making the drug more available, using the pain of miscarrying women as a kind of a human shield, will ultimately put more women’s lives in danger — as well as untold millions in the womb.