Last time we looked at Mifeprex (mifepristone) and its use to induce a chemical abortion in pregnancies 10 weeks or less. Currently, Mifeprex is prescribed by a physician and the pill is taken while in the clinical setting or at an abortion center. Mifeprex blocks the release of the hormone, progesterone, that stabilizes the uterine wall to nourish the developing baby. Without progesterone, the uterine wall deteriorates and does not support the baby, so it dies.

After a woman takes Mifeprex in the medical setting, she is sent home with a second follow-up drug, misoprostol, to be taken 24-48 hours later.

Esentially, Mifeprex cuts off the supply of nourishment and oxygen for the developing baby, so it dies inside the uterus. That may be enough to stimulate the uterus to contract and expel the dead pregnancy. However, the process is often incomplete and tissue can be left in the uterus that causes the woman to cramp and bleed. Misoprostol finishes the job by causing intense uterine contractions that expel the dead baby and anything left from the work of Mifeprex.

Combined, the two drugs cause severe uterine contractions, cramping, and bleeding. The aborted pregnancy usually is expelled into the toilet and flushed away. The mother may or not see the dead baby among all the tissue and blood clots, but by then it’s too late. There’s no going back!

Cramping and pain may continue for several days, but the woman’s bleeding can last up to 30 days. Particularly if she is at home alone during her abortion and the pain and bleeding becoming excessive and frightening, even life-threatening, she endures it all by herself. Are we having a good time yet?

Cytotec, generically called misoprostol, is prescribed to reduce stomach acid. This prevents formation of a gastric ulcer when persons must use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve and others for conditions like arthritis or joint ailments. lists “Important Information” patients should know before taking Cytotec: it can cause birth defects, premature birth, uterine rupture, miscarriage, or an incomplete miscarriage and dangerous uterine bleeding. It is definitely not to be taken if a woman is pregnant or might become pregnant. So, possibly doctors found Cytotec’s usefulness for abortion by accident when it caused miscarriages in women taking it with NSAIDS.

Side effects from taking misoprostol are listed as: severe stomach discomfort or diarrhea; dehydration symptoms like feeling thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot, dry skin.

More common side effects include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, gas; vaginal bleeding or spotting, heavy menstrual flow, or menstrual cramps.

If a woman is under a doctor’s care while taking Mifeprex and misoprostol, she can call him or her when the pain or bleeding becomes excessive. But, if the drugs are legalized to be purchased over the counter (OTC), desperate women may use them outside of the safety guidelines.

They may try to abort a pregnancy much older than 10 weeks. They may be taking medications that conflict with either of the drugs and cause serious side effects. Complications from the baby not being ejected from her body completely or with serious bleeding can jeopardize her health and life.

Without a medical examination before using the drugs, a woman could have an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, in which the baby is implanted in one of her Fallopian tubes rather than the uterus. To abort that pregnancy chemically would lead to dangerous hemorrhage and even death without clinical intervention.

So, chemical abortion however convenient it sounds, is not as easy or safe as it is proposed to be. There are more aspects to chemical abortion that will be examined in a forthcoming article. Stay tuned!

— Posted by Tom Salmon for Doris, a fellow member of the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance

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