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(born in 2009)
Destiny's mother was in college. She had everything planned out for her and her parents' support. Then she found out that she was pregnant. Her baby's father wanted nothing to do with "her problem". She called our 1-800-662-2678 (1-800-NO-ABORT) hotline and found someone who would not only listen but provide the counseling and guidance she needed to ultimately decide to continue with her pregnancy. Two years later she called the very same hotline to say, "Is there anything I can do to help? Without you I might have made the worst choice of my life. Now, I have a beautiful daughter, my family and I'm back in school. Thank you."
Washington, DC -- A prominent former abortionist warns that RU-486, the abortion drug recently approved by the federal government, has potentially harmful side effects for women who use it. In 1969, Dr. Bernard Nathanson was co-founder of National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, later renamed National Abortion Rights Action League. He was also the director of what was then the largest abortion facility in the world New York City's Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health.
Presiding over 60,000 abortions during his career and helping to make abortion legal in the United States, Nathanson later renounced his profession and became a pro-life advocate, a conversion that made headlines.During a recent interview, Nathanson revealed dangers that the FDA doesn't want to reveal to the American public about RU-486 and its companion drug, Misoprostol, or Cytotec. He commented that the approval of RU-486, or Mifepristone, had less to do with public health and more to do with the politics of the Food and Drug Administration.
According to Nathanson, one potentially harmful side effect of RU-486 is the possibility that disorders could be passed down to surviving offspring of women who have taken the drug.
"RU-486 is the drug which acts on the female reproductive system, and anything that does that we have to be keenly aware of what are called transgenerational effects," said Nathanson.
One such drug acting on the female reproductive system was given to women during the 1940s and 1950s to stop excessive bleeding and to prevent miscarriages. Although the drug proved to be ineffective, it had an unintended side effect. Many female children of the women who had taken the drug suffered from a transgenerational effect and developed vaginal cancer, which led to numerous mutilating operations and death.
Another concern Nathanson has regarding RU-486 is that a woman who starts taking the pill may decide to carry the baby to term. The result, Nathanson said, can be serious skull deformities for the newborn.
Although RU-486s harmful side effects may apply only to the children of women who have taken the drug, its companion drug, Cytotec, may have health-altering consequences for the women, too, the doctor warns.
"RU-486 in itself is not potentially dangerous to women, but [Cytotec] is, and you have to give them together," Nathanson said. Nathanson explained that the drug has a potential to cause asthma, or exacerbations of asthma, and "things of that sort."
The drug also can cause excessive bleeding, Nathanson said, because at the early stages of a pregnancy, the drug Cytotec, which expels the dead baby from the womb, often isn't completely successful on its own. The pregnancy tends to detach itself partially but not enough to be expelled, causing the bleeding.
"Many of these women bleed for hours at home, having terrible cramps, and end up in emergency rooms," Nathanson said.
Besides physical harm, Nathanson said, there are other potential problems that could spring up because of the dangerous abortion drug. One problem would be that already overcrowded emergency rooms would be even more overcrowded with young women who are experiencing excessive bleeding.
But even if the woman completes the abortion at home, she must still show the remains of her unborn child to the abortion practitioner.
"Many states have laws which require that the physician examine the fetal remains whatever is passed," Nathanson said. "Now the question is how is a young girl of 17 going to go plowing through a toilet bowl full of blood clots and other nasty things to try to find this tiny little fetus and bring it to the doctor?
Perhaps an even more complex problem, which could involve international drug enforcement agencies, could be that the drug will find its place in the dark world of organized crime. "There's no doubt a black market will spring up with these pills in respect to smuggling into Central and South America, or places where they don't approve of abortion," Nathanson said.
A woman wanting to have an abortion using the pill would now have to pay a hefty fee $600 for the three pills of RU-486 and two pills of Cytotec. Nathanson calls this price gouging but believes the price will eventually come down and be easily affordable.
Right now, Nathanson explained, a woman could walk into an abortion facility and pay just $150. However, even if an abortion practitioner sells a set of the pills at the exorbitant rate Nathanson said pharmacists would probably not sell the pill; abortion facilities will sell them directly he believes this poses a conflict of interest.
Once the price of the pills comes down, Nathanson said, the pills would in all probability show up in the clinics of the nations public schools.
"They'll pass this out [in school] too, and many kids, probably, will be using this for contraception and adults too," said Nathanson. "They'll be taking it every month at the end of the month just to be sure."
Although Nathanson made it clear during the interview he was speaking more as an ob-gyn and less as a pro-life advocate and bioethicist, he concluded his discussion over the pill by saying, "It really trivializes life, so there are ethical and moral issues."