Abortion Pill - Questions and Answers

What is chemical abortion?

Chemical abortion, often called “medical” or “medication” abortion by abortion advocates, is the direct and intentional killing of a pre-born human being living within his or her mother typically by means of a two-drug combination taken in the form of pills. The chemical abortion protocol is marketed in Canada as “Mifegymiso.” It is offered as an alternative to surgical abortion to mothers in Canada who are less than 9 weeks (63 days) pregnant, measured from the first day of mother’s Last Menstrual Period (LMP).

How does chemical abortion work?

In a chemical abortion, the mother first takes a drug orally in the form of a pill called mifepristone. Mifepristone blocks progesterone in the mother’s body, a naturally produced hormone that sustains and nourishes her pregnancy. This shuts down the woman's pregnancy-sustaining mechanism, killing what product literature refers to as a “growing embryo.” After 24-48 hours, the woman then ingests the second drug, in the form of a pill, called Misoprostol. This drug initiates powerful uterine contractions that cause the woman to bleed heavily as she expels her dead baby.

Is chemical abortion medicine?

Abortion activists often refer to chemical abortion as “medicine.” Medicine, however, understood as a substance to ingest, refers to a drug, remedy, or therapeutic preparation for the treatment of disease, illness, or injury. Pregnancy is not a disease, illness, nor injury, but a normal and natural process in which a new human being begins, develops, and matures inside a mother’s womb prior to birth. Since chemical abortion is not a treatment for a disease, illness, or injury, but directly targets and kills a human being living and growing inside his or her mother’s womb, in no sense can it be called “medicine.” Abortion activists falsely call chemical abortion “medicine” in an attempt to convince women that using it is somehow a moral medical act and to mask the reality that using it destroys a human life.

What is a baby’s stage of development in a chemical abortion?

Biologists overwhelmingly affirm (95 percent) that a human's life begins at fertilization. When male sperm meets female egg, a new, whole, and unrepeatable human organism comes into existence. This new human being has a life, identity, and developing body entirely separate from those of the mother.

  • By five weeks after conception, the development of the baby’s brain, spinal cord, and heart is well underway. The baby’s heart begins beating at 5 weeks and is visible by ultrasound. The baby achieves these developmental milestones often prior to the mother realizing she is pregnant.
  • By six weeks, the baby’s heart has beat more than one million times. By this time, the baby is developing cerebral hemispheres.
  • At seven weeks, fingers begin to form on the baby’s hands.
  • At eight weeks, the baby’s brainwaves can be measured and recorded. The baby’s bones of the jaw and collarbone begin to harden.
  • At nine weeks, the baby can move hands, neck, and can even hiccup. At this point, females have developed ovaries and males have developed testes.

Chemical abortion, no matter at what stage of the baby’s development it is committed, targets and kills the youngest and most vulnerable members of the human family.

Does chemical abortion harm women?

While abortion activists call the two-drug protocol the “gold standard” for chemical abortion, it is not without risk of serious harm and even death to the user. Product literature describes Mifegymiso’s adverse reactions to include the following:

  • “persistent or heavy vaginal bleeding [that] required treatment with intravenous fluids or blood transfusion”
  • “nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain”
  • “headache, dizziness, chills and fever”
  • Infectious complications include “sometimes fatal sepsis”
  • “Clostridium sordellii infection was observed in some women without abdominal pain or fever, that progressed rapidly to multi-organ failure and death”

In January of 2022, Health Canada's post-market surveillance program, for which submissions are made voluntarily, reported 43 adverse reactions, some resulting in near death, from women using Mifegymiso. Three cases were “life-threatening” involving loss of blood, septic shock, and circulatory collapse, respectively. There were about a dozen cases of hemorrhaging, some that required blood transfusion. There were at least 15 cases of failed abortion requiring medical intervention.

Health Canada released a 195-page adverse event report on Mifegymiso in 2022 at the request of pro-life researcher Patricia Maloney. Here’s a sample of some of the Canadian women harmed by Mifegymiso:

  • In 2017, a 37-year-old woman who was pregnant at 45 days gestation suffered “life threatening and involved or prolonged inpatient hospitalization” after taking Mifegymiso. Reactions included “loss of consciousness, low hemoglobin, low iron, hemorrhage, transfusion, D&C, syncope vasovagal, retained product of conception, heavy bleeding.”
  • In 2017, a 17-year-old girl suffered “serious, life threatening” difficulties after taking Mifegymiso. These included “loss of consciousness, hemoglobin low, iron low, hemorrage, transfusion, dilation and curettage, retained products of conception, heavy bleeding, large clot, toxic shock syndrome.”
  • A 36-year old female was given Mifegymiso and was hospitalized with sepsis.

Women from around the world have died after chemical abortion.

  • A 19-year-old Canadian woman died in 2022 after taking the abortion pill. The Canadian government's online system that tracks adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs reveals that a hospital reported on July 4, 2022, that a 19-year-old female used the abortion pill Mifegymiso to kill her preborn child. The cause of her death is listed as “septic shock.”   
  • A 26-year-old Canadian woman died in 2001 of Clostridium sordellii-related septic shock after taking chemical abortion at 10 weeks’ gestation during a clinical trial of the abortion protocol. The “previously healthy woman was hospitalized because of abdominal pain, vomiting, and foul-smelling vaginal discharge,” Quebec doctors stated in a 2002 report about the case.
  • A 23-year-old Argentine woman, a leader of a pro-abortion group who fought on the front lines of her country’s 2020 battle to legalize abortion, died in 2021 during a chemical abortion, what she had labeled her “dream” abortion procedure.
  • Doctors in a Turin hospital in 2014 were unable to save a woman who went into cardiac arrest after being administered the second part of the chemical abortion protocol. The woman complained of not being able to breathe moments before her heart stopped beating.
  • Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration confirmed in 2012 that a woman died in 2010 after being administered the chemical abortion protocol at a Marie Stopes abortion mill.
  • A 16-year-old in Sweden was found dead in her boyfriend’s shower in 2003 after complications arose during a chemical abortion. Loss of blood from the abortion protocol was cited as the official cause of death.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported in 2023 that it had received reports of “serious adverse events in patients who took mifepristone,” adding that “as of June 30, 2022, there were 28 reports of deaths in patients associated with mifepristone since the product was approved in September 2000.”

Women who have experienced a chemical abortion have said they were unprepared for the pain and bleeding as well as the shock of seeing the visible human embryo they had expelled. The following comments from women who have undergone chemical abortion are taken from Abortion care: evidence reviews released in 2019 by UK’s leading clinical guidance authority, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

  • “I kind of thought that I’d go there, bleed a little and then go back home, having it all done. But I learned that wasn’t the case.”
  • “There wasn’t enough information about the bleeding and the pain, I thought. The bleeding was massive. It was very frightening.”
  • “I put a paper in the toilet so I would see that I had aborted… was totally unprepared for seeing the embryo… became very sad… I could clearly see that it would be a human being.”
  • “You could see fetus, where the ears were, the arms, I was really frightened.”
  • “In hindsight I wish I hadn’t looked but I did, and that was probably the most traumatic thing I’ve ever seen or done. I thought ‘what on earth…?’”

Pro-abortion, feminist authors Renate Klein, Janice G. Raymond, and Lynette Dumble conclude in their book RU-486: Misconceptions, Myths and Morals that chemical abortion constitutes medical violence against women, stating that it is an “unsafe, second-rate abortion method with significant problems.”

Does chemical abortion harm society?

1) Chemical abortion devalues human life. While abortion, in general, leads to society devaluing human life, chemical abortion expedites the process. Chemical abortion is billed as an easy, do-it-yourself, at-home process where ending a pregnancy is as simple as popping a pill. It allows women to treat the new, unrepeatable human person living and growing inside them as if he or she were no more than a headache to be treated by taking an aspirin. Popping pills as a way of addressing the problem of a mother who does not want to continue her pregnancy only reinforces the falsehoods that pregnancy is a “disease” and the preborn child a “parasite.” The devaluing continues when the expelled baby, sometimes with clearly identifiable body parts — including head, arms, and legs — is treated like bodily waste to be flushed down the toilet. Chemical abortion, which is really a human pesticide, devalues and trivializes life. The human ordering of society exists to promote human flourishing. Societies that devalue human life can only harm individuals. Thus, chemical abortion, since it devalues human life, harms society.

2) Chemical abortion destroys a nation’s peace, which is the tranquility of the social order. While abortion, in general, severs the relationship between mother and child, chemical abortion has the added ghastliness that it is the mother herself, not a doctor, who is killing her own child. Chemical abortion puts the mother directly in the seat of being the abortionist, the executioner, the assassin. The act of a mother executing her own child and sundering the primordial bond that exists between mother and child sends destructive shockwaves throughout every relationship in her life, including with her own self, her family, her community, and the nation. The tranquility of the social order is rocked from the bottom up. Mother Teresa explained this destructive mechanism at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., where she called abortion “the greatest destroyer of peace today.” Abortion, including chemical abortion, is what Mother Teresa called a “war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?” Chemical abortion thus harms society by destroying a nation’s peace.

3) Chemical abortion fuels sexual violence, covering up sexual abuse and enabling sex-trafficking. It provides sexual abusers and sex traffickers an unparalleled means of covering up rape and sexual abuse of girls and women. It is not unusual for these victims to become pregnant. Pregnancy would normally alert the girl’s family and others (such as law enforcement) of abuse, thus exposing the abuser and bringing his sexual abuse cycle to an end. Pregnancy would be an occasion for these victims to come in contact with a healthcare worker, even someone from an abortion mill, who could report their suspicions to authorities. Chemical abortion, however, provides the perfect tool for abusers and sex traffickers to make their victims’ pregnancies disappear, keeping their victims on a close leash so they never have to seek medical help. The traffickers and abusers, being in a position of power over their victims, can easily force them to take the pills and abort, thus covering up evidence and continuing the abuse cycle, sometimes for years, with devastating consequences to victims. Chemical abortion thus harms society by aiding abusers and traffickers in keeping their victims locked in their evil clutches.

4) Chemical abortion may fuel future population collapse. When compared to surgical abortion, the relative ease of shipping the lethal pills in the mail or dispensing them at pharmacies is quickly making chemical abortion the abortion method of choice. Chemical abortion is already responsible for over 80 per cent of first-trimester abortions in many European countries. The rate of chemical abortion continues to climb in Canada since its approval by Health Canada in 2015 and subsequent availability in 2017. Greater accessibility to chemical abortion may increase the abortion rate, especially in remote areas where surgical abortion is unavailable. While abortion, in general, bears responsibility for population decline, putting some developed countries below replacement level, chemical abortion could accelerate total population collapse, potentially resulting in economic disaster and a nation’s ultimate demise. Demographers recognize that one of the greatest problems facing developed nations today is not population explosion, but population collapse. As chemical abortion grows in popularity, it could exacerbate an already existing population problem. It would not only undermine the populations of individual nations, but its widespread use could jeopardize the very existence of entire civilizations. Chemical abortion could thus harm society by accelerating population collapse.

Chemical abortion harms society by 1) devaluing human life, 2) destroying peace, 3) fueling sexual violence, and 4) contributing to population collapse. This lethal poison is a human pesticide. It has no place in a civilization that cherishes life and love and values each and every member of the human family. It must be banned.

Download a printable PDF of this page here.