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Unsafe home abortions, a New York Times article that lacks the ring of truth

Posted by MDViews on January 5, 2009

The New York Times in an article today reports on many poor Hispanic women in New York City having unsafe home abortions.  Some of the women have been interviewed and asked why they would have these unsafe home abortions. They state reasons of mistrust of the health-care system, fear of surgery, worry about deportation, concern about clinic protesters, cost and shame.

How does a woman have an unsafe home abortion, you might ask?

First, home abortion is available with RU486, the abortion drug. So, home abortion is already done. Haven’t we always heard from the pro-aborts how safe it is?

Back in the 1990’s, a drug for treatment of certain types of gastric ulcers was approved by the FDA over the objections of pro-life people and pro-life doctors. Pro-lifers suspected the drug was being pushed for approval for ulcers so it could be used off-label to cause severe uterine contractions and abortion, which it does. It is called misoprostol, or Cytotec. So, these Hispanic women are using this drug, misoprostol, to induce abortion at home. The drug is available only by prescription.

The article implies that the women get this medicine from pharmacists who “bend the rules” or from overseas pharmacies. I supposed that is possible, but I’m a tad more suspicious than that. Why would a pharmacist hand out a prescription-only drug for ulcers to a young, healthy woman who just “asked” for it? Wouldn’t the pharmacist tell such a person to try Zantac or any of a number of acid-reducers first, all of which are available over the counter? Also, health care for young women in the US is by and large free, especially poor, young, minority women. It is rare for a young women to be denied Title 19, government health care. So why wouldn’t she go to Planned Parenthood (PP) for free? No stigma there. Many Planned Parenthoods are not abortion clinics. Even if Title 19 was not available, PP gives steep discounts for care in their clinics. PP has no interest in deporting illegal aliens.

I have read in my journals that doctors have used misoprostol, this ulcer medicine in combination with methotrexate, a chemotherapy which kills the pregnancy. Methotrexate is now used to treat uncomplicated tubal pregnancies as well as some forms of cancer. These two drugs together are an already available, cheap cocktail that removes the stigma of prescribing RU486, the approved abortion drug. It would be easy for a physician to lie about a normal pregnancy diagnosis and write in the chart that the patient had a tubal pregnancy, then prescribe the methotrexate for the “tubal pregnancy” and the misoprostol for an “ulcer” while giving the patient a wink, wink, nod, nod and verbal instructions on how to complete the abortion at home. Should this cocktail just cause bleeding and be unsuccessful at completing the abortion, as about 20% are, the patient could then go to any ER and look just like a garden-variety miscarriage.

Could Planned Parenthood be a party to such a deception? I have no evidence that they are, but this story leaves too many questions in my mind to be taken at face value.

I wonder if this New York Times article is a liberal hit-piece ginning up sympathy for cheaper, more readily available abortion while providing cover for the practitioners who are giving these women the means for home abortion.

3 Responses to “Unsafe home abortions, a New York Times article that lacks the ring of truth”

  1. MDViews said

    Thanks for your comments.

    Some in planned parenthood are “reproductive rights” zealots. Many are just after the money. If the truth about PP were really known, I fear we would be truly shocked.

    Also, I think I’ll get rid of those “automatically generated” possibly related posts. I don’t agree with most of them and I don’t want to advertise for the other side!

  2. CMinor said

    Came by via Mary Meets Dolly–will have to visit again as time allows!

    It’s ironic that one of the “possibly related posts” that came up is More New York Moms Choosing to Birth at Home.

    Having noticed that there is a demimonde out there still claiming to self-induce abortions with various traditional herbal “remedies”, I’m surprised the story didn’t turn up any young Hispanic women obtaining the same from some of the less scrupulous traditional herbalists in their own communities. Since they’re concerned about maternal safety, and all that.

  3. There is no such thing as a “safe abortion” the baby nearly always dies and occasionally the mother. If Planned Parenthood are not involved in this scheme I’m sure they would like to be.

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