Jeffrey Smith didn't want to be a father. When his girlfriend told him she was pregnant, he told her to abort. Ending the pregnancy would be easy, he texted her. "You just have to take a pill." When she refused, he got angry and hatched a plan. While he was over at her house one night, he waited until she was in the bathroom and dropped a pill into her water bottle. Before she took another drink, she noticed the residue and called police. Days later, a Wisconsin crime lab confirmed it: the drug was RU-486, a chemical abortion pill.
When police arrested Jeff on charges of attempted murder, he pled "not guilty." That will be a lot harder to do now that the woman who's been selling the illegal drugs has been caught. Turns out, he got the drugs from a New York City woman, Ursula Wing, who was using her online jewelry store as a front for an illegal prescription drug ring. Abortion pills were one of her biggest sellers. She'd buy packs from India and sold them in kits for $85. Customers, an assistant district attorney explained, paid by credit card "and the purchases were recorded as jewelry..."
In searches of Smith's house, police found empty pill packets and internet searches that all trace back to Wing -- who's been charged with conspiracy. Unlike Jeff, she pled guilty.
It's a horrible story, but one that ought to shed a giant spotlight on some of the problems with chemical abortion. For starters, these drugs are dangerous -- which is one of the reasons they're highly regulated by the FDA. Taking them without a doctor's supervision (or even with a doctor's supervision) usually has serious consequences. Women will vomit, cramp, bleed heavily, sometimes even lose consciousness. It's a far cry from the "simple, safe, natural, private, process" abortion groups promise. And making matters worse, these women are all alone.
Moms like Tammi Morris have absolutely gut-wrenching stories about the pain and grief they experienced from these drugs. "It was nothing like they had told me," she testified. After several hours, "the pain and urge to push were so intense" that she sat on the toilet. "I pushed un[til] I felt something come out, and I heard a sound. I looked down and screamed. It was not just a blob of tissue. I had given birth to what looked like a fully-formed, intact 14-week-old fetus covered in blood." Then, "I scooped my baby out of the toilet. I sat on the floor and held him and cried. I cannot remember what I did with my baby afterwards... In what other circumstance would the health care industry encourage and support an untrained patient to self-administer a medical procedure that could result in fatal blood loss, with no means to have professional medical intervention available?"
But there are also horrors like Darshana Patel's. She wanted her baby -- and miscarried when her boyfriend stirred abortion drugs into her smoothie. Like Jeff, he ordered mifepristone from an illegal source online. The FDA has managed to crack down on some websites, based in places like India, but there's a lot more Congress needs to do to make sure these pills aren't bought and sold illegally. Just imagine the harm rapists or sex traffickers could do if these drugs were available over the counter like so many radical activists are demanding. It's a scary thought -- but then, so is the entire chemical abortion push. These pills are the abortion industry's next big venture, and based on FRC's research, Americans should be very, very concerned.
For more on "The Next Abortion Battleground," check out Patrina Mosley's issue analysis.