Mayday, a pro-abortion nonprofit that pushes the abortion pill on women, sent an investigative reporter to “expose” crisis pregnancy centers of misleading pregnant women. Last month, they came forward with their findings in articles published in a number of outlets.
Olivia Raisner pretended to be pregnant and recorded employees at five crisis pregnancy centers in Indianapolis, aiming to out them for failing to help women in need.
Crisis pregnancy centers, which provide valuable resources to pregnant and postpartum women, are a favorite target of pro-abortion activists. So, to pro-life readers, it’s no surprise that Raisner’s investigation was full of exaggerated emotion, activism, and misinformation.
In an article for Ms. Magazine, Raisner claims that employees use “false and dangerous information” to dissuade women from getting abortions. What information exactly? Raisner zeroes in on two claims: 1) that women who have had abortion are more likely to commit suicide than those who do not, and 2) that medication abortion is reversable. But both of these claims are not false as Raisner posits. Let’s look closely at both.
Does abortion increase a woman’s risk of suicide?
Let’s take a look at Raisner’s first example—the idea that women are more likely to commit suicide after undergoing an abortion.
The studies on this subject are mixed, and though Raisner links to a study showing that considering confounding factors, such as the higher rate of existing mental health problems in women who choose to have abortion, making the abortion-suicide link statistically insignificant.
An older study from Finland, however, found that there was a much higher suicide rate in women who had abortions than women who were pregnant. For women of reproductive age, “the suicide rate associated with birth was 5.9 per 100,000 births and for associated abortions was 34.7 per 100,000 abortions,” meaning that when it comes to a woman’s mental health, it is much safer to bring the pregnancy to term.
Do abortion reversal pills work?
Another claim that Raisner purports to debunk is that the abortion pill is reversible. As she puts it in an article at Jezebel:
“The clinic worker featured in Mayday’s video specifically emphasized the (false) claim that if Raisner used medication abortion, she had the option to ‘reverse’ the abortion through a special pill, via a dangerous, non-proven method called ‘abortion pill reversal,’” the article reads. “Raisner told Jezebel that as medication abortion becomes more widely used, given its continued availability in all 50 states, anti-abortion activists are increasingly pushing this bogus, medically dangerous claim.”
But abortion pill reversal has actually been shown to work. The Abortion Pill Rescue Network, which has saved more than 2,000 babies through its hotline, connects women with doctors who can prescribe medication if they change their minds halfway through their abortion pill regimen. In a chemical abortion, the first abortion-inducing drug, mifepristone, inhibits progesterone and weakens the uterine lining, and the second, misoprostol, induces labor. The APRN’s research reveals is possible after taking the first pill of mifepristone, one can take a different hormonal medication to reverse its effects and turn back.
“If a woman has taken the first pill but changes her mind and decides she wants to continue with the pregnancy, she can potentially reverse the abortion process with prescription progesterone—flooding her body with ongoing doses of extra pregnancy hormones can serve as an antidote to the mifepristone’s effects,” explains Margaret Brady in a medically reviewed article for Natural Womanhood.
“One study that examined the records of more than 700 women who interrupted a medication abortion found the fetal survival rate almost doubled to 48 percent after the women were administered natural progesterone, compared to a typical fetal survival rate of roughly 25 percent after mifepristone exposure without further intervention or treatment,” Brady reports.
Misleading claims on abortion
I could go on. But one of the most patently false statements Raisner makes comes at the end of the Jezebel article. “They just want you to give birth, and they’ll say anything for that—they offered me money, gave me baby blankets, they invite the premise that they’ll be supporting me,” Raisner said of the crisis pregnancy centers. “It’s clear that that support really stops after that person gives birth.”
This claim, made without evidence, is another common criticism of pregnancy resource centers and the pro-life movement in general. But many of these centers specifically offer postpartum care and ongoing support, or actively refer women to other resources for new mothers.
Raisner and other pro-abortion activists can try to debunk pro-life claims by appealing to any information that fits their narrative, but the truth is not on their side. Mountains of scientific data continue to show that abortion ends a human life, provides physical and mental health risks to the mother, and that hormonal abortion pills can be reversed with pregnancy-hormone-supportive interventions. The truth remains on the side of life, for those with ears to hear and eyes to see.