Chemical Methods of Abortion

In the case of chemical abortions, RU 486 is used in first trimester abortions and Prostaglandins in second and third trimester abortions.

  • EC or the MAP is regarded as an abortifacient by opponents to abortion.
  • In the presence of RU 486, part of the cell receptors which normally combine with progesterone, are blocked by combining with this compound.
  • Under seven weeks pregnancy the abortive effect is high.
  • The injection of concentrations of artificial prostaglandins prematurely into the amniotic sac induces violent labour.
  • The abortionist uses ultrasound to direct a needle containing lethal potassium chloride into the heart.
Morning After Pill (MAP)
Oral administration of a large dose of oestrogen will prevent nidation of the fertilized ovum (nidation means implantation in the uterus). Four pills of the normal contraception pill strip contain enough oestrogen.

Sometimes referred to as Emergency Contraception (EC), if taken within 72 hours after intercourse it may suppress ovulation. The secondary effect is to alter the lining of the womb to prevent implantation.

The MAP is regarded as an abortifacient by opponents to abortion who regard fertilisation as the beginning of the pregnancy rather than implantation.

RU 486: The Abortion Pill
In the presence of RU 486, part of the cell receptors which normally combine with progesterone, are blocked by combining with this compound. This blocking is proportional with the concentration of RU 486. By taking 600mg of RU 486 by mouth, a young pregnancy may be terminated.

As the placenta takes over, the effect gradually diminishes because of the rising concentration of progesterone. Under seven weeks pregnancy the abortive effect is high. After ten weeks or so, it is nil.

In clinical trials, it was found that in these young pregnancies, about 80% of the women aborted spontaneously. The remaining 20% had an incomplete abortion and had to be treated by aspiration.

Most women experience mild abdominal pains and sometimes nausea or dizziness are reported. In more advanced pregnancies, the effectiveness declines rapidly, while the side effects become more marked.

In pregnancies of eight to ten weeks duration, in only 30% of the cases will a spontaneous abortion occur, while in 70% an aspiration has to be done. Blood loss is more abundant and in 15% of cases a blood transfusion is necessary.

For more information on RU486, go here.

Prostaglandins
Prostaglandins are naturally produced chemical compounds that normally assist in the birthing process. The injection of concentrations of artificial prostaglandins prematurely into the amniotic sac induces violent labour. The woman, assisted by a nurse, squats over a commode and delivers the dead baby.

To ensure that the baby will be dead on delivery, the abortionist uses ultrasound to direct a needle containing lethal potassium chloride into the heart. Others use an injection of digoxin to cause foetal cardiac arrest.

The side-effects can be severe, especially when the pregnancy is advanced.