Illegal Abortion Pills Seized by Customs


So far, this year, Irish customs officers have seized 158 packets of drugs which could be used to cause an early abortion. The Health Products Regulatory Agency (HPRA) said last year 536 of these tablets were detained and 850 in 2015. A spokesman for the HPRA said the “majority of the consignments detained in the Republic during 2016 and 2017 originated in India”. The radical abortion group Women on Web uses a company in India to distribute abortion pills.


This comes as abortion advocates are touting a study which claims the drugs are safe for women to take. The study was based on self-reported accounts from women who had obtained pills from Women on Web. The responses were provided by the women four weeks after they used mifepristone and misoprostol to cause an early abortion. There were no face-to-face interviews.


Of the 1,000 women surveyed, almost a tenth said they had to seek some form of medical attention, including blood transfusions and being prescribed antibiotics.


Two of the authors of the study, published in the British Medical Journal, were affiliated with Women on Web. The abortion group provided illegal abortion drugs to women in Ireland and Northern Ireland for the study and supplied all the data and follow-up information.


Women on Web is linked to Women on Waves, an abortion boat that sails around performing abortion on international waters.


Dr Michael New, a scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute criticised the study’s obvious flaws and troublesome findings. “Follow up information was unavailable for 454 women—that’s a whopping 28 per cent of women in the study,” he said. “Among those women who did respond, more than 9 per cent reported symptoms and care-seeking for potentially serious complications, such as bleeding, fever, and persistent pain. Seven women needed a blood transfusion and 26 required antibiotics. The authors admit the rate of blood transfusions and antibiotic receipt were higher among women who performed medical abortions without medical supervision.”


Dr Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists observed that the study contained “a surprising lack of basic medical information, and all of the information is self-reported.   There is not even any confirmation that the women who took the drugs were actually pregnant—no confirmatory urine or blood test by a medical professional, no ultrasound, no confirmation of any basic data. And, there is no report of how many women died…no confirmation of any of the self-reported complications.  There is not even any way to tell if women died. Seriously? This study should have been thrown out in peer review.”


Chuck Donovan, president of Charlotte Lozier Institute, commented that “Both the source of the study data and the accompanying commentary explicitly push the envelope by encouraging illegal do-it-yourself abortions. This study reeks of bias and flagrant disregard for protective laws. Its publication in a respected medical journal is shameful and irresponsible.”


The HPRA said it "continually recommends that, because of the risks to their health, patients do not seek to self-medicate with prescription medicines that have not been prescribed by their doctors".

Irish Independent. May 18. BBC. May 17. LifeNews. May 17.

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