Researcher Pat Maloney recently shared a Health Canada report on the adverse reactions that women have had to the abortion pill here in Canada. This includes one woman who tragically died from taking the drug. Maloney also goes over other reactions that women have had to the pill, but it should be noted that even when the abortion pill is working “normally”, there is nothing quick or easy about the experience.
In a video explaining how the abortion pill works, the University of Waterloo Faculty of Science and the Shore Centre explain the common side effects of the pill: cramping, nausea, and diarrhea. But they go on to explain that you are only supposed to seek urgent care if you are bleeding clots the size of lemons for more than 2 hours. If that heavy bleeding lasts less than 2 hours, that’s considered normal.
Women are unprepared for the experience
There is a common theme in the stories of post-abortive women revealing that they are completely unprepared for what is coming. Norine, a pro-choice woman, described her experience back in 2007 to Marie-Claire magazine: “Nothing – not the drug literature, not the clinic doctor, not even my own gyno – had prepared me for the searing, gripping, squeezing pain that ripped through my belly…I was disoriented, nauseated, and, between crushing waves of contractions that I imagine were close to what labor feels like, racing from the bed to the bathroom with diarrhea. Then, just as quickly, it was over. The next night, I started bleeding. I bled for 14 days. A follow-up ultrasound confirmed I’d aborted. And that’s when my problems really began.”
The problems that followed included depression, for which her doctor prescribed antidepressants, saying “One day, you’ll feel just like your old self.” Norine said it took nine months.
That’s Norine’s story. And it reveals one of the issues with talking about the abortion pill as a one-size-fits-all “solution” to unwanted pregnancy. There is no way to know how a particular woman will react to the drugs before she takes them. There is no way to predict how her body will react and whether she will face complications.
But what is the worst part?
Rose’s story was published by pro-abortion author Renate Klein in RU 486: Misconceptions, Myths & Morals. Rose experienced nausea, pain, and large clots of blood that caused her to call medical professionals twice in 24 hours. But they told her that this was normal.
Amidst the pain and blood, however, Rose concludes that “the worst part of the RU 486 was the sheer amount of time it took for me to ‘terminate’ my baby: with each and every large clot of blood…was a reminder of the fact I was terminating a baby, for which I felt hugely saddened. More than I realized I would.”
The reality is that the abortion pill is a horrible experience for women. But it’s horrible for women not just because it’s an uncomfortable experience for which they are ill-prepared. It’s horrible because it ends the life of a pre-born child, and they are faced squarely with that fact while the pill takes effect. A “successful” abortion, whether through the pill or a surgical abortion, means the successful ending of a pre-born child’s life – a life that is relationally and physically intertwined with the mother.