In a TV debate following the legalisation of ‘DIY’ abortions in the US, a pro-abortion activist apparently took an abortion pill live on air.
Founder of the Detroit chapter of The Satanic Temple, Jex Blackmore, took a pill that she claimed was mifepristone – the first of two pills taken in an early medical abortion – in a debate with pro-life activist and lawyer, Rebecca Kiessling.
In the debate, whilst promoting ‘DIY’ home abortions, Blackmore held up a white pill to the camera claiming it was the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone.
She said: “I want to show you how easy it is, and safe it is, by taking it myself”. Blackmore then put the pill in her mouth, washed it down with a sip of water, and smiled at the camera.
The debate moderator asked: “You’re not pregnant, are you?”
“I would say that this is going to end a pregnancy”, Blackmore replied. “This would be my third abortion”.
Kiessling closed her eyes and shook her head in response. Writing on Facebook later, she criticised Blackmore for the callous demonstration.
She said: “After the segment ended, I just broke down in tears. It’s like someone pushing a button for a drone strike on innocent victims like it’s nothing because they don’t see them, while the rest of us are fully aware of the carnage to ensue, the shocking loss of life”.
Some commenters have said that Blackmore’s stunt was a fake but in an email to the Washington Post, Blackmore said that her actions in the debate on Fox 2 News Detroit on Sunday were “no charade”.
In December last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted a federal ban on sending abortion-inducing drugs through the post. Prior to the change, abortion-inducing drugs were supposed to be administered in a clinical setting.
Under the new ruling, it is now possible in the US for abortion pills be sent through the post following a telemedical appointment. Nineteen states, however, have banned the practice under their own state laws.
According to ABC News, the FDA had stopped enforcing the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone in spring 2021 to “reduce [the] burden on patient access and the health care delivery system”, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Complications and coercion
In March 2020, the UK also introduced ‘DIY’ home abortion for the first time, allowing medical abortions to occur entirely outside of a clinical setting.
From April 2020 to September 2021, more than 10,000 women had to receive hospital treatment following the use of medical abortion pills in England, according to a study based on data collected from 85 Freedom of Information requests to NHS Trusts across England. The study indicates that more than 1 in 17 women who had a medical abortion over the 18-month period needed hospital treatment.
Alongside the medical complications of ‘DIY’ home abortion, a series of undercover mystery shopper investigations led by Kevin Duffy, who was previously a director at abortion provider MSI Reproductive Choices, revealed how a number of women were able to obtain pills for their children by pretending to be pregnant themselves. Other women in the investigation were able to obtain abortion pills after the 10-week limit.
In June 2021, over 600 UK medical professionals signed an open letter to the Government calling for an end to ‘at-home’ abortion due to concerns that it has led to a number of abortions occurring over the ten-week limit and that it fails to protect women and girls from being coerced into an abortion against their will.
One signatory, Dr Calum Miller of Oxford University, said an in-person medical examination was “a critical safety measure to check the gestation of the pregnancy” and other possible medical issues, adding: “We should not be failing women by eliminating the checks”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “Blackmore’s stunt, if real, is a deeply sad and disturbing event. Regardless of legal status, or visibility, this demonstration was highly distasteful, but perhaps an apt reflection of the carelessness that the pro-choice lobby approach this issue with”.
“The allowing of ‘DIY’ abortions shows not only a total disregard for the lives of unborn children but also for the well-being of women whose lives are put in danger from the taking of the pill outside of a clinical setting, and who likely face a greatly increased risk of coercion and abuse”.