A 16-year-old girl in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has died after purchasing the drug misoprostol on the street, later taking it to abort her pregnancy.
Though abortion is illegal in PNG, misoprostol (an ulcer drug commonly manufactured under the name Cytotec) is available through pharmacies and some private clinics, where it is apparently being sold. When pregnant women use the drug, it produces cramping, heavy bleeding, and contractions. It has been approved for use in abortion in the United States up to the 10th week of pregnancy as part of the abortion pill regimen, which also utilizes the drug mifepristone.
According to a report published by the PostCourier.com, the girl’s father is heartsick over his daughter’s death and is calling for an investigation into how misoprostol is becoming “available” on the streets. Sadly, he claimed that his daughter asked him for money to purchase school supplies, but he now knows he inadvertently funded the abortion that took his daughter and grandchild’s lives.
Dr. Sam Yockopua, chief emergency physician at the Port Moresby General Hospital, told the Post-Courier the hospital has seen numerous instances of these “very dangerous” self-managed abortions. He warned that women “can die from heavy blood loss to infections (septic abortions).”
“One may also become infertile or sub-fertile in the future due to damages to the cervix or uterus (womb),” he added.
Yockopua acknowledged that they have seen a growing number of women and girls at the hospital with complications as a result of drugs like misoprostol or herbs used to abort a pregnancy.
“We at the emergency department have seen many patients being presented with severe bleeding and nasty infections. I can remember a few young women who eventually succumbed to death after secretly doing abortions and hiding it,” he added.
Abortion industry complicit in promoting dangerous abortions
Live Action News has previously documented that the abortion lobby is hailing efforts to purchase and use misoprostol only, the second of the U.S. abortion pill regimen, to abort a pregnancy.
Examples include the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) which instructs women that the drug is “[o]ften sold in pharmacies… is inexpensive, easy to store and handle, and is a safe method for people seeking to end their pregnancy.” The website Plan C, founded in 2015 by Francine Coeytaux and Elisa Wells, also promotes misoprostol abortions. “Those who choose to self-manage their abortion have no obligation to report that they have used misoprostol and there is no way it can be detected in the body,” the website notes.
In the United States, the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) also promotes what amounts to dangerous do-it-yourself abortions on its website. Under the headline, “Where people can find the abortion pill,” NNAF tells women that misoprostol “is used by veterinarians to treat dogs….”
The site leads women through a plan of action without directly labeling it as such, writing, “In Mexico and other countries in Latin America, prescriptions are not required for most medicines available in pharmacies. Therefore it is possible for people to buy misoprostol over the counter…. In many cases, the pharmacist will not ask why a person wants to buy the medicine…. If the pharmacist asks, some people say it’s for their a family member’s ulcer or arthritis. If a pharmacy will not sell the misoprostol to a person, they might try a different pharmacy.”
The international abortion organization, Women on Web, also advises women to use misoprostol alone, “available at some local pharmacies” and “if mifepristone is not available.” But the group warns, “If you are only using misoprostol to do an abortion, it is important you know how far along you are. If you do an abortion using only misoprostol after 12 weeks, the risk of heavy bleeding, severe pain, and/or complications increases the further into your pregnancy…”
In such cases, the website advises women to present to the ER and falsely claim they are having a miscarriage if they experience complications from the abortion pill in a country where taking the drug is illegal. Interestingly, Women on Web founder Rebecca Gomperts launched the site Aid Access and is currently selling the abortion pill online.
The PNG teen’s death is tragic, and expanding self-abortions will only add to the risks for women and girls, as abortion advocacy groups and their allies in the media fail to condemn irresponsible abortion advocacy websites which instruct women and teens on how to purchase these dangerous drugs, including misoprostol, to commit self-managed abortions.
Danger in the United States
In the U.S., there is a move to lift an important FDA safety requirement known as REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy). This would allow women or teens to obtain the abortion pill without the longtime required in-person visit to an approved prescriber.
Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason, the Biden-Harris administration is temporarily allowing the abortion pill to be dispensed by mail. But well before the pandemic, the abortion industry expanded its abortion pill clinical trials and then rolled out a “no test” abortion pill protocol, eliminating a requirement for tests to correctly date the woman’s pregnancy and rule out potentially deadly ectopic pregnancies before administering the abortion pill. This potentially endangers women.
Around the same time frame, the ACOG also changed its recommendations to match the abortion industry’s attempts to expand abortion pill access, despite the fact that ACOG’s own website acknowledges the importance of the “[a]ccurate dating of pregnancy” as a “public health imperative.”
In fact, despite the abortion industry’s elimination of accurate pregnancy dating protocols (with ACOG’s blessing), ACOG knows that a large percentage of women do not accurately date their own pregnancies. This matters in abortion, because failure rates and complications of abortion drugs increase as gestational age increases.
“Ultrasound measurement of the embryo or fetus in the first trimester (up to and including 13 6/7 weeks of gestation) is the most accurate method to establish or confirm gestational age,” ACOG states. “It has been reported that approximately one half of women accurately recall their [last menstrual period] LMP.” (emphasis added)
“In one study, 40% of the women randomized to receive first-trimester ultrasonography had their [estimated due date] EDD adjusted because of a discrepancy of more than 5 days between ultrasound dating and LMP dating,” ACOG added.
So, while the abortion industry continues to make a killing selling the abortion pill, the fact remains that it is the abortion industry and its political accomplices in the U.S. and abroad who are placing the lives of women and teenagers at risk. When women tragically die from legal or illegal abortions, the blame lies squarely with them.
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