Study Uncovers Potential Dangers of Drug-Induced Abortion

A protester opposed to abortion demonstrates outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Thursday, 18, 2012. The first abortion clinic on the island of Ireland has opened in Belfast, sparking protests by Christian conservatives from both the Catholic and Protestant sides of Northern Ireland’s divide. The Marie Stopes …
AP Photo/Peter Morrison

A new study by researchers at Franciscan University of Steubenville has uncovered the potential dangers of drug-induced abortion. After three years of research, a team of behavioral neuroscientists has found the possibility of significant harmful biological and behavioral effects caused by drug-induced abortion.

The study, “Biological, Behavioral, and Physiological Consequences of Drug-Induced Pregnancy Termination at First-Trimester Human Equivalent in an Animal Model,” investigated the effects of the abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone (RU-486) and misoprostol in rats in a controlled environment. Based on the animal models, the researchers found significant and harmful behavior changes in pregnant rats who were given the abortion-inducing drugs, compared to rats that did not receive the drugs and those that received the drugs but were not pregnant.

According to a press release from Franciscan University of Steubenville, results of the study, which was published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, revealed the following:

Among the biological, physiological, and behavioral changes exhibited by the rats in the abortion group were a loss of appetite, decreased exploratory movement, decreased self-care, and changes in vaginal impedance—a factor that appears to relate to fecundity, or the ability to reproduce—that were not present in the pregnant rats that carried their pregnancy to term. The findings suggest behaviors consistent with a wealth of scientific literature documenting the effects of moderate to severe stress on animal models, which scientists have long used due to the similarities in brain mechanisms between rats and humans.

Dr. Stephen Sammut, psychology professor at Franciscan who led the study, said the research is “breaking new ground” in the area of the mental health effects of abortion on women.

“In the animal model, we observed depression-like behaviors, and we saw anxiety-like behaviors,” he explained in a statement. “The biochemistry indicated potentially long-term effects.”

Sammut added the findings suggest that social pressure or stigmas – which abortion rights activists often claim are the cause of depression and anxiety in women who have had abortions – are an inadequate explanation of the possible negative effects caused by abortion-inducing drugs.

“There is something more than social pressure on a person who feels depressed after an abortion,” he said. “There are potential physiological consequences that have not been investigated.”

The question of the potential for the presence of institutional bias in favor of the abortion industry has long been an issue among researchers who have wanted to subject abortion-inducing drugs to rigorous scientific investigation.

“Medical abortion researchers focused on how fast the drug could kill the baby and how much effort it would take on the part of the abortionists to handle complications,” said Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-life OB-GYNs, in a statement. “This study (the first not performed by the abortion industry) raises serious concerns about mental health effects of drug-induced abortions and the differences between spontaneous and induced abortion. Such studies should have been performed long before drug-induced abortion was allowed on the market.”

According to data available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015, 24.6 percent of all abortions in the United States were drug-induced.

Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino describes in the medical animation video below what occurs during a drug-induced abortion:

In an email interview with Breitbart News, Sammut explained further that, given all the “many complex changes that take place in the woman to prepare her for the pregnancy,” ending the pregnancy with drugs is, therefore, “a serious issue and its repercussion must reverberate throughout all the physiological systems.”

He addressed the question of downplaying the potential for serious effects of drug-induced abortion:

Additionally, we all know about the importance of hormones in regulating the functioning of our body, brain and behavior … so, would it not be reasonable to expect that interfering with natural changes associated with pregnancy would cause serious consequences? The trivialization of the use of these drugs at any age, but even more so when a person is still young, is very dangerous. Even an aspirin has its side effects….and the consequences of the administration of these drugs is significantly greater than many an aspirin.

Sammut further expressed concern that women may not receive enough information about the potential for physiological and psychological repercussions as a result of the procedure.

“We absolutely should be concerned about the trivialization of the potential dangers,” he said. “It is the obligation of a caregiver to inform their patient of every potential consequence. The administration of these drugs has a significant impact on the body – should a person not be informed of the potential for physiological and ultimately psychological effects? Is that not part of the care that a patient deserves?”

The abortion industry has been successful in pressing some state legislatures to allow non-physicians to administer abortion-inducing drugs. Maine Democrat Gov. Janet Mills introduced a bill herself that was recently passed by the state legislature and allows non-physicians to perform abortions, including those that are drug-induced.

“This is even more disturbing,” Sammut told Breitbart News. “How many people would accept the advice of a non-physician in relation to taking a medication for cardiac failure? Or the advice of a non-physician for the treatment of a cancer?”

“So, why is it okay, that drugs with such complex implications on the body, and potentially very significant consequences physiologically, neurologically and psychologically, could be administered by a non-physician?” he asked.

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