October 1, 2000

Feminism’s Bitter Pill

By: AFF Editors

The feminist movement has lost much of its credibility as of late. Who can forget Gloria Steinem and Patricia Ireland rushing to the defense of our misogynist president during the Lewinsky scandal? Or the support that feminists have extended to Hillary Clinton, the supposed quintessential feminist, whose smartest career move was marrying that same misogynist president — and who owes her current political popularity almost entirely to her status as the “wronged woman?”

Small wonder, then, to see all of the so-called feminist leaders on television this past week lauding the Food and Drug Administration’s dubious approval of the controversial abortion drug, RU-486. From the sound of their cheers one would think that women, after all of these years, had finally been set free. However, a closer look at what the FDA has approved once again exposes these feminist leaders for what they really are: pawns of the left who are willing to sacrifice women’s well-being and health for their political agenda.

Let’s set aside the debate on whether abortion ends a human life. Let’s focus instead on the impact this dangerous drug will have on the safety and well-being of thousands of American women. Feminist leaders are claiming that the availability of RU-486 gives women the safe, simple and private choice of getting the abortion they need. What the feminists will not talk about, however, is what happens when a woman takes the pill. RU-486 isn’t some magical drug that makes the unborn baby disappear into thin air. Ending a pregnancy with this bitter pill can be a long and tortuous process, and its side-effects range from unpleasant to life-threatening.

A woman must first go to the doctor to receive the RU-486 pill. Two days later, she goes back to the doctor and, if the baby is still alive, receives another pill. Then, about two weeks later, the doctor must determine if, in fact, the abortion was complete. If it was not, the woman must go in for a surgical abortion.

Keep in mind that the later the pregnancy, the less effective the RU-486. The drug is 92 percent effective when used within the first 49 days after conception. The “success rate” declines considerably with each additional day. A woman will usually end up bleeding for over two weeks, during which she also must endure the passing of blood clots. With several weeks of doctor’s appointments, blood clots, heavy bleeding and cramping, RU-486 is not as convenient as feminists would make it sound. To me it sounds downright painful and scary.

In addition, conservative estimates of RU-486 usage in Europe, where it has been available since 1988, reveal that three to eight percent of cases required surgical intervention or blood transfusions. Thousands of American women, no doubt, will suffer a similar fate.

And, as the feminists have advertised, it can all happen in the comfort and privacy of your own home! I, for one, would not want to be alone (as most women in crisis pregnancies are) and left to bleed on the cold tile floor of my bathroom.

Apparently, the FDA’s research on RU-486 is so limited that they admit to not having tested it on teenagers under the age of eighteen. Planned Parenthood’s own research department concedes that four in ten teen pregnancies end in abortion, yet they cheer the approval of a drug which has not been tested for a majority of teenagers. Of course, no one really knows the long-term effects of RU-486 period. It appears that proponents of abortion will stop at nothing – not even the health of women – to make sure abortions are plentiful.

The abortion rights movement wants to keep the effects of abortion behind closed doors, lest women find out the traumatic details and make a different choice. Is this the new freedom feminists are lauding on television?

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