Thursday, 30 November 2023
"Surge" in chemical abortion raises abortion rate, hope and help still available with Abortion Pill Rescue Halacious/Unsplash

"Surge" in chemical abortion raises abortion rate, hope and help still available with Abortion Pill Rescue

A “surge” in chemical abortion in the U.S. is behind an increase in the overall abortion rate, a new report says. 

The abortion rate is higher in states with pro-abortion legislatures, the report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) said.

In the 38 states where data is available, abortions increased by nearly two percent from the previous year, it said, and the increase in abortion can be largely attributed to the surge in chemical abortion nationwide.

“Use of the dangerous chemical abortion pill regimen has exploded within the abortion industry. This method of abortion surged upward by nine percent between 2017 and 2018, making up 41 percent of total abortions in 2018 alone,” said Tessa Longbons, CLI research associate and author of the new report.

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Despite the marked increase in chemical abortion and the increase in the abortion rate overall, tens of thousands of lives were saved that year in states with life-affirming laws.

Some 50,000-60,000 lives were saved in life-protecting states when compared to states that are more permissive of abortion, according to the study.

The report found that in abortion-permissive “blue” states, abortion increased by over four percent; however, in life-protecting states, abortion increased by less than one percent.

CLI is the research arm for national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List). The report on emerging abortion trends in the United States comes ahead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Guttmacher Institute, previously affiliated with Planned Parenthood, to offer analysis of trends found in the latest available state abortion reports from calendar year 2018.

An estimated five to seven percent of women who undergo chemical abortions will need follow-up surgery, according to a study from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland, and three percent could end up in the emergency room as a result of chemical abortion drugs, according to a study from the School of Law, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia.

A majority of Planned Parenthood abortion locations (56%) now perform chemical abortions only, according to the SBA List statement.

Due to inconsistencies in abortion reporting or lack of reporting from some states, it is difficult to know exactly how this 2018 data will affect the big picture with abortion in the U.S., CLI President Chuck Donovan said.

CLI experts have criticized “flawed” research on chemical abortion drugs that suggest self-administered chemical abortions do not present a danger to women, a statement from SBA List said. 

Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue Network (APRN), which stands ready 24/7 to help moms who experience regret after taking the chemical abortion pill. Consultants assist women with immediate needs before referring them to the nearest one of more than 700 Abortion Pill Rescue® providers worldwide in the APRN.

Chemical abortion is a two-pill process, with the first pill mifepristone (or RU-486), blocking progesterone receptors and reducing progesterone levels in the mom’s blood, destabilizing her pregnancy. That first pill is typically taken at an abortion provider's site, however illicit abortion pill sales on-line are rising as well. 

The second pill, misoprostol, is taken a day or so later to finish the abortion by inducing labor. That second pill being taken later means the mother is not at the abortion facility and typically at home, often alone when she delivers her deceased child - and on her own to face any complications that may occur.

If a mom acts swiftly after taking the first abortion pill and begins the abortion pill reversal (APR) protocol, it may be possible to save her unborn child. APR involves administering extra progesterone to counter the first abortion drug. It is a new application of an FDA-approved progesterone treatment used for decades to stop miscarriages. 

Statistics show that more than 1,000 lives have been saved to date through the APRN, and Heartbeat International chronicles many of them on its website.

Expanded access and increased advertising of chemical abortion have no doubt increased the rate overall, Heartbeat International Director of Medical Impact Christa Brown said.

“While the abortion industry struggles with retiring abortion providers and closing clinics, chemical abortion remains an obvious money-maker for the industry,” Brown said. “Without the expense of surgical suites, anesthesia, or staffing required to offer surgical abortion, the industry has found chemical abortion to be a cost-effective service while requiring women to complete their abortions in their homes without medical supervision.” 

The abortion industry has not failed to use fear during the coronavirus pandemic in its advertising, she said. 

Chemical abortion is now being touted as "no touch" by some who want to market this as a safer option. This "no touch" process sees primary provider counseling the patient by phone or video chat about pregnancy options and chemical abortion. Patient information sheets are emailed, faxed or sent through patient portals. Medications are dispensed through mail or in-person pickup.

Brown, who leads Heartbeat’s team of APRN nurses on the frontline taking calls round the clock from the moms who regret taking the abortion pill, sees this presentation of chemical abortion as an easy answer to an unplanned pregnancy as duplicitous. 

“The manufacturer and providers of chemical abortion have worked hard to create the illusion of a quick and easy solution to an unexpected pregnancy-an abortion in the privacy of your own home,” said Brown. “But chemical abortion does not create a solution - it destroys. It destroys motherhood for the woman and the life of an unborn child created by God.”   

 Heartbeat International President Jor-El Godsey pointed to the profit gained by the abortion industry from chemical abortion.

“Billion-dollar industries don't sit idly by and watch their profits erode,” he said. “Big Abortion, to preserve profits have been pivoting to chemical abortion for a decade now.”

Tweet This: “Big Abortion, to preserve profits have been pivoting to chemical abortion for a decade now.”

Godsey added that, “With higher profit margins and an easier "sell" for slick subsidized marketing machine, shifting to DIY chemical abortions is a winner only for their bottom line.”

Abortion can be the most difficult decision a woman will ever have to make, said Brown, and “the promise of an easy fix is enticing.”

But the reality is most women who start chemical abortions are not prepared for the reality of managing their own abortions in bedrooms, dorm rooms and bathrooms, she said, often facing intense pain and bleeding, isolation, fears and the tragedy of seeing, holding and disposing of your own child. 

“Abortion is not commonly the empowering, triumphant experience advertised by the media and abortion supporters,” stated Brown. “Many women feel trapped into making this decision.” 

Tweet This: “Abortion is not commonly the empowering, triumphant experience advertised by the media and abortion supporters."

“Most women want help when in crisis,” she continued. “They want support. They want to know there can be a new normal available to them and an unexpected pregnancy isn’t the end of the world. It can instead be a new beginning.” 

“An unexpected pregnancy can be an unexpected blessing,” Brown added. “And we hear from women who have successfully reversed their chemical abortions that this is true.”

Editor’s note: Women are sharing their experiences with chemical abortion at and More information about abortion and pregnancy centers is available at Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue Network, Pregnancy Help News and Help is available 24/7 through Option Line at 1-800-712-4357, by texting “HELPLINE” to 313131 or visiting

Lisa Bourne

Lisa Bourne is Managing Editor of Pregnancy Help News and Content Writer for Heartbeat International. She has worked in journalism and communication for the pro-life community, the Catholic Church, other Christian denominations, and secular media for several years. 

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