Chemical abortion can be caused by certain drugs, administered in varying ways, which act upon the hormones of the mother to create a situation in which a newly-formed human being, known as a zygote or embryo at this stage, cannot survive. Most of these chemicals are used in combination, one drug to ensure that the embryo is killed, and a second to induce contractions so that the dead embryo is expelled from the uterus of the mother.
The drugs employed to cause these abortions may be referred to as causing pharmaceutical abortions, particularly in promotional literature.
Because Hoescht, the parent company of Roussel-Uclaf, the first manufacturer of RU-486, is a major producer of agricultural chemicals, administration of abortion pills has become known as inducing "chemical abortion," and RU-486 and other chemical abortifacients are often considered "human pesticides".
Life begins at fertilization, NOT implantation
There is much scientific proof that a unique human being is created after fertilization of the egg by the sperm. This human being already has a complete and unique genetic make-up. Although it doesn't resemble us at this point, the new life looks exactly like a human being should look at this stage in his or her development. We all started out this way.
Day 1-14: Fertilization: the sperm and egg join in the fallopian tube to form a unique human being. Twenty-three chromosomes of the father and twenty-three chromosomes of the mother combine, which pre-determine all of a person's physical characteristics. The picture on the left is a fertilized egg, only thirty hours after conception. Magnified in the photo at right, it is actually no larger than the head of a pin. Still rapidly dividing, the developing embryo moves down from the fallopian tube and towards the uterus.
3 weeks: Once in the uterus, the developing embyo searches for a place to implant, where it actually burrows beneath the surface of the uterus. The yolk sac, produces blood cells during the early weeks of life. The unborn child is only one-sixth of an inch long, but is rapidly developing. The backbone, spinal column, and nervous system are forming. The kidneys, liver, and intestines are taking shape.
Chemical Abortion - The prevention of implantation
Known as either the "morning-after pill" or the "emergency contraceptive kit," but more appropriately described as "post-coital interception." The Preven pill makes the lining of the uterus inhospitable to a living, human embryo. The embryo is unable to implant and gain nourishment, so it dies. Here is an excerpt from The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition, by Moore and Persaud (P. 532):
Postcoital [after intercourse] birth control pills... Ovarian hormones (estrogen) taken in large doses within 72 hours after sexual intercourse usually prevent implantation of the blastocyst [embryo]... These hormones prevent implantation, not fertilization. Consequently, they should not be called contraceptive pills [italics added]. Conception occurs but the blastocyst does not implant. It would be more appropriate to call them "contraimplantation pills." Because the term abortion refers to a premature stoppage of a pregnancy, the term abortion could be applied to such an early termination of pregnancy.
Side effects: risk of developing blood clots and blockage of blood vessels - which may lead to heart attacks, strokes. Studies have indicated that the risk of both benign and malignant liver tumors may be increased by Preven use. Smoking and the use of Preven greatly increase the chance of developing possibly fatal heart disease.
The following quote from the Preven website affirms both, that Preven the morning after pill stops the fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus and that RU486 induces abortion. Preven, at the beginning stage of the baby's development, prevents implanation in the uterus, and RU486 causes the baby to detach from the mother's uterus.
"The ingredients of Preven are nothing new: Medical experts have used the basic recipe for emergency contraception since at least the mid 1970s. Emergency contraception pills, or ECPs, are simply high doses of the hormones found in regular birth-control pills, taken in two steps within 72 hours of sex. In contrast to "morning after" pills such as RU-486, which induce abortion by causing a fertilized egg to detach from a woman's uterus, ECPs actually prevent pregnancy. " Most people have no idea that's possible, because when Mom or Dad took us behind the barn, they usually left us with a misunderstanding of the basic facts of life," says Dr. Anita Nelson, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA. "It actually takes a few days for an egg to get fertilized and lock itself onto a uterus. And ECPs (emergency contraceptive pills) work to stop ovulation from taking place, stop the sperm from coming down the tube, or stop a fertilized egg from becoming implanted." (emphasis added)
Click here for verification from the Preven web site of the fatal side effects
(Every page on the Preven web site lists the fatal side effects. Perhaps your pharmacist might be able to provide you with documented information regarding these procedures).
Chemical Abortion in the First Trimester
While many people focus solely on RU-486 (Mifepristone or Mifeprex), the so-called "French abortion pill," the RU-486 technique actually uses two powerful synthetic hormones with the generic names of mifepristone and misoprostol (or other chemicals called prostaglandins) to chemically induce abortions in women five to nine weeks pregnant.
The RU-486 procedure requires at least three trips to the abortion facility. In the first visit, the woman is given a physical exam, and if she has no obvious contra-indications ("health conditions" such as smoking, asthma, high blood pressure, obesity, etc., that could make the drug deadly to her), she takes the RU-486 pills. RU-486 blocks the action of progesterone, the natural hormone vital to maintaining the rich nutrient lining of the uterus. The developing baby is disrupted from his or her habitat and starves as the nutrient lining disintegrates.
At a second visit 36 to 48 hours later, the woman is given a dose of artificial prostaglandins, usually misoprostol, which initiates uterine contractions and usually causes the embryonic baby to be expelled from the uterus. Most women abort during the 4-hour waiting period at the clinic, but about 30% abort later at home, work, etc., as many as 5 days later. A third visit about 2 weeks later determines whether the abortion has occurred or a surgical abortion is necessary to complete the procedure (5 to 10% of all cases).
There are several serious well documented side effects associated with RU-486/prostaglandin abortions, including prolonged and severe bleeding (up to 44 days), nausea, vomiting, pain, and even death. At least one woman in France died while others there suffered life-threatening heart attacks from the technique. In U.S. trials conducted in 1995, one woman is known to have nearly died after losing half her blood and requiring emergency surgery.
Long term effects of the drug have not yet been sufficiently studied, but there are reasons to believe that RU-486 could affect not only a woman’s current pregnancy, but her future pregnancies as well, potentially inducing miscarriages or causing severe malformations in later children. (RU 486 Misconceptions Myths and Morals, pp. 71-79).
For additional details or references on the RU-486 information provided here, please access the National Right to Life website or ask your pharmacist.
The procedure with methotrexate is similar to the one using RU486, though administered by an intramuscular injection instead of a pill and acts by a different mechanism. Originally developed to attack fast growing cancer cells by neutralizing the B vitamin folic acid necessary for cell division, methotrexate attacks the fast growing cells of the baby, and the trophoblast, the tissue surrounding the embryo that eventually gives rise to the placenta (pictured at right). The trophoblast not only functions as the "life support system" for the developing child, drawing oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood supply and disposing of carbon dioxide and waste products, but also produces the hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone which signals the corpus luteum to continue the production of progesterone necessary to prevent breakdown of the uterine lining and loss of the pregnancy. Methotrexate initiaties the disintengration of that sustaining, protective, and nourishing environment. Deprived of the food, oxygen, and fluids he or she needs to survive, the baby dies.
Three to seven days later (depending on the protocol used), a suppository of misoprostol (the same prostaglandin used with RU 486) is inserted into a woman’s vagina to trigger uterine contractions and expulsion of the tiny body of the child from the woman’s uterus. Sometimes this occurs within the next few hours, but often a second dose of the prostaglandin is required, making the time lapse between the initial administration of methotrexate and the actual completion of the abortion as long as several weeks. A woman may bleed for weeks (42 days in one study ), even heavily, and may abort anywhere -- at home, on the bus, at work, etc. Those found to be still pregnant in later visits (at least 1 in 25) are given surgical abortions.
Even doctors who support abortion are reluctant to prescribe methotrexate for abortion because of its high toxicity and unpredictable side effects. Those side effects commonly include nausea, pain, diarrhea, as well as less visible but more serious effects such as bone marrow depression, severe anemia, liver damage and methotrexate-induced lung disease. The manufacturer warns in the package insert that "deaths have been reported with the use of methotrexate," and recommends that its use be limited to "physicians whose knowledge and experience includes the use of antimetabolite therapy." Though researchers performing methotrexate abortions have dismissed such concerns because of the low dosage used, other doctors in the abortion trade have disagreed, and the package insert clearly warns that "toxic effects may be related in frequency and severity to dose or frequency of administration, but have been seen at all doses" (emphasis added).
For additional details or references on the Methotrexate information provided here, please access the National Right to Life website or ask your pharmacist.