One Pill, Two Pill

December 13

If this sounds like the beginning of a Dr. Seuss rhyme, it’s not. I’m talking about something far more serious: the two pills that comprise the RU486 chemical abortion procedure. In technical terms, the first pill is actually the “RU486” component, or mifepristone; the second is misoprostol. The RU486/mifepristone causes the uterus to shed its lining so that the fertilized egg (i.e., human being) will have nothing to stay attached to. Then the second pill, containing misoprostol, effectively causes a miscarriage. Is it brutal? You bet it is. The child dies and reading the list of possible side effects from this process for the mother is frightening.

You may not be aware of this, but North Dakota law requires that women seeking abortions need to be informed about specific things before the abortion may take place. For example, a woman seeking an abortion must be told:

  • The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living being;
  • Abortion has inherent medical risks such as infection, hemorrhaging, danger to subsequent pregnancies, and infertility;
  • That agencies exist who can provide alternatives to abortion (these need to be identified); and
  • That she is free to withhold or withdraw her consent to the abortion at any time.

I want to focus on this last piece of mandated information. Suppose a pregnant woman were to take the first of the two chemical abortion pills, but then changes her mind. She now wants to carry her child to full term. She’s frightened and confused, and I suspect she might be thinking something along the lines of, “I really wish I hadn’t started this abortion process, but there’s no going back now”. However, nothing is further from the truth.

Abortions can be stopped after the mother has already taken the first RU486 pill. There are many success stories from around the country documenting this, and closer to home, a young lady successfully reversed her chemical abortion right here in North Dakota. With the help of a local pregnancy clinic, she was able to get a prescription for reversal medication and delivered a healthy baby boy.

I ask you, how is a woman free to withhold or withdraw consent to the abortion at any time if she doesn’t know the abortion can be stopped/reversed? She effectively can’t. The pro-abortion movement rallies around the phrase “it’s a woman’s right to choose”. I say, that sentiment has to cut both ways. Withholding critical information about an abortion procedure takes away her choice. This needs to change.


Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director