Several new studies have found abortion drugs – touted as a solution to illegal, unsafe abortions – are linked to increased maternal deaths and suffering.
One study from Sri Lanka found “in developing countries, [medical abortions] widespread misuse has led to partial or septic abortion thereby increasing maternal mortality and morbidity.”
A large study from Finland concluded, “Because medical abortion is being used increasingly in several countries, it is likely to result in an elevated incidence of overall morbidity related to termination of pregnancy.”
Dr. Donna Harrison, a pre-eminent expert on mifepristone, reported on studies from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Finland for the Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change. These studies found that mifepristone, also called RU-486, and misoprostol have high complication rates, with greater medical risks to women in developing countries.
Abortion advocates aggressively promote abortion drugs in developing countries because the lack of medical infrastructure, transportation to emergency centers, water and other supplies make surgical abortions less accessible and more risky. Yet these same obstacles exist for treating the greater risks associated with medical abortion. One frequent and necessary treatment is surgery. In Vietnam, researchers found one out of four women had to undergo a surgical abortion for an incomplete misoprostol abortion.
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