In its final season, the Netflix show “Orange Is the New Black” (OITNB) features an abortion plotline that is generating buzz. A pro-abortion writer at Refinery29 rightly notes with alarm the circumstances in which desperate women turn to unsafe means (like home remedies) in an attempt to induce abortions on themselves. Yet, the Refinery29 post goes on to fully endorse the chemical abortion pill, which comes with numerous risks to the mother.
In OITNB, the character of a migrant woman from Guatemala becomes pregnant after rape and attempts to induce an abortion by ingesting parsley tea. This dangerous practice is recommended on obscure internet message boards and in some traditional medicinal practices. A disturbing 2003 study of self-induced abortion, including using parsley, was inconclusive, but found “the ingestion of plants to induce abortion involves the risk of severe morbidity and mortality.”
Far from her home and pregnant after rape, the character is moved by desperation to attempt to end her child’s life by a dangerous means that threatened her own life. The attempted abortion was unsuccessful, and the mother received medical care at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility. However, the pro-abortion writer claims the story “ended on a hopeful note” because the woman’s child was eventually aborted after the character Fig (played by Alysia Reiner) ensures that the woman undergoes an abortion via the abortion pill. According to Refinery29, the abortion “serves as a poignant reminder that not every person in prison has a Fig to advocate for their health and safety.”
But aside from the fact that no one was advocating for the “health and safety” of the preborn child conceived in rape through no fault of her own, and no one was advocating that the woman’s trauma be addressed by means other than killing her child — suggesting that a pharmaceutical medication abortion is the “right” way to manage abortion sends a dangerous message.
Women in difficult circumstances are increasingly turning to the internet to buy unregulated abortion pills, which, despite not being “home remedies” like parsley, still carry with them potentially serious dangers for mothers, in addition to their life-ending properties when it comes to preborn children — whether purchased legally or illegally. And pro-abortion groups are attempting to push the Food and Drug Administration to lift its safeguards surrounding abortion pills so that prescribers no longer have to be qualified to deal with any possible complications of the pills.
Risks of the abortion pill include severe bleeding sometimes requiring hospitalization, and 24 women have died from taking it. Women have reported suffering tremendous pain and the passing of tremendous amounts of blood and large clots — alone. Some women have bled for several weeks following, and some have even reportedly been traumatized after seeing the bodies of their aborted children, which looked like tiny human beings and not the ‘clumps of cells’ they were expecting to see.
The plotline tacitly endorsing DIY abortions as long as they are done the “right” way is consistent with previous OITNB episodes in which characters suggest that abortion is an act of mercy. When one character in the prison struggles with guilt over her previous abortions, a fellow inmate tells her she was a good mother for “wiping ’em out” before they live “miserable f*cking lives.” This argument — that if children are going to potentially live difficult lives, they’re better off dead — is common among the pro-abortion crowd.
The message that abortion is a solution to difficult circumstances is precisely what leads women to seek dangerous self-managed abortions. Women deserve to know that abortion is never necessary, and there are people who will help them choose life for their children, no matter the circumstances.
For more information on abortion pill reversal, please visit Abortion Pill Rescue.
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