an After abortion

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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

What is it like to take RU-486? Two quotes from a webpage at Priests for Life.

"The only thing private about RU 486 is that the final stage of the abortion, the expulsion of the embryo, often happens at home--or someplace else. To call this an at home abortion is deceptive, to say the least, since most of the treatment transpires at the clinic or hospital and is extremely medicalized. What actually happens at home can be an excruciatingly long wait for the embryo to be expelled from the uterus, accompanied by pain, bleeding, vomiting, nausea, and other complications that are drawn out over a substantially lengthy period of time, compared with a conventional abortion ....We are talking about a non-private, extensively medicalized, and complicated procedure." (Raymond, et al, pp.27-29)

Edouard Sakiz (Chairman of Roussel Uclaf, the pharmaceutical company manufacturing RU 486) bluntly describes why the drug is not a panacea for women seeking a safe and easy abortion procedure:

"As abortifacient procedures go, RU 486 is not at all easy to use. In fact, it is more complex to use than the technique of vacuum extraction. 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" (Raymond, et al, pp.50-51)

Reading this, and reading the news story about the reaction of Holly's family to this tragic death, I think about Holly and Holly's boyfriend during the last week of her life.

What was all this like for the boyfriend? We don't know whether he supported or opposed the abortion, or whether he told Holly that he would support her no matter what decision she reached. I wonder if it ever occurred to the boyfriend to urge Holly to speak to her parents.

I wonder if it occurred to the boyfriend, as Holly slid in to septic shock and required emergency treatment, that this was a result of the RU-486. It seems from the newspaper stories that he did not mention to anyone (her parents or doctors at the emergency room) that Holly was in the middle of an RU-486 abortion, in case that information might help her receive appropriate treatment.

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