Canadian pro-life advocates are in shock today as they learn of Health Canada’s decision to approve “the abortion pill,” or RU-486. CBC reports that the drug combination – mifepristone (to block the pregnancy-sustaining hormone progesterone) and misoprostol (to cause uterine contractions, delivering the fetus and placenta) – will be distributed by existing abortion providers instead of pharmacists. It will be available early next year.
According to the Globe and Mail, RU-486 will be sold under the brand name Mifegymiso. It is most commonly used between the seventh and ninth weeks of pregnancy. However, Health Canada may have put an earlier prohibition on its use. Vicki Saporta, head of the National Abortion Federation, was quoted in the same story as saying that the pill has an “outstanding safety record.” She is relieved that “women in Canada will now have access to what is considered the gold-standard of medical abortion care.”
Of course, social media is buzzing with the news. One Twitter user wrote “Welcome to the 21st, century, Canada.” Stories like this Live Action collection from Sarah Terzo show that the ingredients of RU-486 are anything but “safe.” A contributor to the book Abortion Under Attack: Women on the Challenges Facing Choice, whose story is featured in Terzo’s piece, wrote the following:
I didn’t realize the horrible truth of that statement until I lay awake at night in fits of unbearable pain, bleeding through sanitary napkins by the hour. When I was in the bathroom one night, clumps of bloody tissue and embryonic remains fell into the toilet. I was overcome with tremors, my body shaking with a burst of heat resembling fever. My cheeks flushed as sweat bled into my hairline. Dragging my feet on the cold alabaster floor, I went back to bed and hid under the covers. Eyes open and blood shot, knees to my chest, I felt tears sting my swollen cheeks. After hours of pure exhaustion, I finally fell asleep.
Returning to the clinic several days later for scheduled follow-up, I learned that the gestational sac was still intact. I was given another dose of Mifeprex and Misoprostol. That night, I stared in horror as a clump of tissue the size of a baseball escaped from my body. I held this bloody mass in my hand, feeling the watery red liquid drip from my fingers. The tissue was soft and pliable.
Poking at the flesh, I imagined the life that it embodied. The sac looked like a bleeding pig’s heart. For several months after, I was unable to look at blood without vomiting.
How is that “a gold standard of care” appropriate for the 21st century? Women will soon be able to bleed in their homes without medical supervision, feeling helpless as they look at the tiny bodies of their dead children.Keep in mind that this is taking place in a nation where there are no legal restrictions on surgical abortion.
Canadians deserve so much better than this.