Campaign Life Ottawa lobbyist Johanne Brownrigg. (Photo by Deborah Gyapong)

Abortion drug to be available by July

By 
  • April 27, 2016

OTTAWA – With Health Canada expected to make an abortion drug available in July, pro-life groups and doctors are concerned with how it will change perceptions surrounding abortion.

“We’re deeply saddened that this is going to become available to Canadian girls and women,” said Campaign Life Coalition’s Ottawa lobbyist Johanne Brownrigg. “We’re concerned girls and women in isolated communities will think of this as an answer to a difficult situation (when) in fact (it will) complicate their own health.

“Not enough has been said about how this pill combination can fail and the side effects are serious,” she said.

Health Canada will not allow the drug Mifegymiso to be dispensed by pharmacists, however. Instead, specially trained doctors will dispense the first dose, which a woman must take in the doctor’s presence.

“Those are at least minimal precautions we can be grateful for,” said Brownrigg.

“Medically speaking, I worry about post-traumatic stress and negative physical side effects, including uncontrollable bleeding, infection, even possible death,” said Ottawa family physician Dr. Barbara Powell.

“There’s no way I see this being good for women,” she said. “The woman then goes home and she is on her own. How do they assess the pain and bleeding?

They’re not medically trained persons. There’s fear involved.

“How many times do they return to the clinic or the emergency department?”

she asked. “If they stay home a serious complication could be missed. This is a particular problem in rural and remote communities.”

Powell noted it is traumatic and painful enough for a woman to experience a miscarriage, but the body usually prepares for it days or weeks ahead of time. Taking the drug skips this natural preparation, thus causing considerably more pain.

“What I’m reading is people are quite surprised how painful it is, so they are likely to go to emergency,” she said.

Seeing the unborn child could be a “huge shock” and be “very traumatic to see a tiny baby,” said Powell. “They will see it first-hand, without anesthetic and sedation as would occur in a surgical termination.”

“It’s been described as bleeding out in a bath tub,” said Brownrigg. “What it may do is de-sanitize an abortion procedure and remove the euphemisms that have clouded what is actually going on.”

Pro-abortion advocates, however, have expressed dismay over the restrictions Health Canada will impose on how the drug is dispensed because it may make the drug less accessible in regions where it is already hard to get an abortion.

“This is what is dumbfounding: abortion rights activists persist in a cavalier disregard for the good health of women, whether we’re talking about sex-selection abortion, or Mifegymiso, everything must be sacrificed on the altar of abortion,” Brownrigg said.

“I hope women in isolated and rural communities find the care and support they need in an unplanned pregnancy because this pill is not the answer.”

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