Be careful what you attempt to demystify.
At 4:08 p.m. on Feb. 18 micro-blogger Angie Jackson (left) began posting the blow-by-blows of her RU-486 abortion on Twitter. "I took the first pill a little under 2 hours ago," she tweeted.
The 27-year-old's intention, she later told ABC News, was to "demystify" RU-486 abortions.
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Jackson had announced her pregnancy on Twitter Feb. 13, even before telling the boyfriend ("BF") she and her 4-year-old son have been living with since last December.
BF was on board with aborting his offspring, so when it came down to which type, four-weeks pregnant Jackson chose the RU-486 at-home medical abortion, which the FDA states can be prescribed up to 49 days, or seven weeks, after the first day of a mother's last period.
RU-486 abortions are the coming rage, much less hassle for abortion profiteers than surgical abortions. The mother takes an RU-486 pill (aka mifepristone or mifeprex) at the clinic, which kills the baby, and follows up at home with one or two doses of cytotec (aka misoprostol) pills to cause contractions to expel the baby. All for $480, as Angie tweeted.
The bonus for abortion clinics is if an RU-486 abortion doesn't work, which occurs 7.9 percent of the time according to RU-486's label, there is no guarantee, so mothers must then undergo and pay for surgical abortions – abortion double-dipping.
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Notwithstanding that, along with serious, life-threatening complications that can lead to death, as has happened at least eight times in the U.S. since RU-486 was legalized in 2000, are RU-486 abortions generally less hassle for aborting moms?
Jackson thought so, basing her decision on the fact her abortion would "be over in 4-8 hrs," as she initially tweeted, and done in the comfort of her home, since she was frightened of surgery.
After visiting her local Planned Parenthood, Jackson again tweeted her abortion experience would be a "4 hour bleed-out," so this was apparently the official teaching Angie received.
But the first rule of demystifying is one must herself be demystified before attempting to demystify. If not, the demystifying process may not go as anticipated, which is what happened in Jackson's case.
Only because Angie decided to live tweet her RU-486 abortion did we learn in actuality it's a long, drawn out, painful process. For that reason I thought Angie's exposé was a worthwhile educational experience for us all.
Here are some common adverse reactions, according to the RU-486 packaging:
Nearly all of the women … will report adverse reactions, and many … report more than one. … 80 to 90 percent of women reported bleeding more heavily than they do during a heavy menstrual period. … Women also typically experience abdominal pain, including uterine cramping. Other commonly reported side effects were nausea, vomiting and diarrhea … pelvic pain, fainting, headache, dizziness … fatigue … back pain. …
That's sobering enough on paper, but how does reality play out?
For nine days, from Feb. 19-27, Jackson tweeted about such severe cramps she had difficulty walking across the room. She went through 17 Vicodin in six days and at a point soon after requesting a prescription for another 20.
Jackson tweeted nausea, vomiting, backaches, headaches and bleeding. Five days into her abortion experience, Angie commented on another blog, "Honestly I had no idea this would go on so long. I thought the entire abortion would take a few hours, as I'd read in a few stories. ..."
At the bottom of this column you can read what Jackson's suffering looked like in real time, where I've synopsized nine days of her tweets.
Planned Parenthood obviously did not explain the reality of an RU-486 abortion to Jackson, nor did any of her other sources.
But Edouard Sakiz, former chairman of Roussel Uclaf, the company that developed RU-486, stated:
As abortifacient procedures go, RU-486 is not at all easy to use. ... True, no anesthetic is required. But a woman who wants to end her pregnancy has to "live" with her abortion for at least a week using this technique. It's an appalling psychological ordeal.
Dr. Etienne-Emile Baulieu, who invented RU-486, stated:
It's insulting to women to say that abortion now will be as easy as taking aspirins. It is always difficult, psychologically and physically, sometimes tragic.
Jackson stopped tweeting her symptoms on Feb. 27, when she realized I was reposting them on my blog. But she wrote the evening of March 2, "In real life, I had a terrible day & don't wanna talk about it."
So whatever the physical, emotional, psychological toll Jackson has endured up to this point, it's not over. How many millions of other mothers have undergone the same ghastly experience?
My intent here is not to drive mothers to undergo surgical abortions rather than RU-486 abortions. They're no picnic, either.
All of this was just to say RU-486 is no abortion panacea, except for those selling it.
Following are some of Jackson's tweets detailing her ordeal.