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Examining the Ethics Behind Medical Abortions and Usage of Aborted Fetal Cell Lines in Vaccines

Our last post examined the ethics behind abortions, women's health, and morality. This post will continue to dissect the ethics behind abortions, the increase in demand of aborted fetal tissue, and morality centralized on life. In case you missed part one, you can read it below.

Examining the Ethics of Medical Abortions Part 1

Examining the Procedures of Medical Abortions

Within the realm of medical abortions, there are different procedures to end a pregnancy.

Abortion by medicine: this method involves three steps with two different medications known as mifepristone and misoprostol.

  • Mifepristone is a medication that blocks the main pregnancy hormone and is taken either at home or in-clinic. Misoprostol is a medication that breaks down the lining of the womb and ends pregnancy with bleeding and pain (NHS, 2021)

  • Mifepristone is taken first and then misoprostol is taken within 1-2 days. Within 4-6 hrs of taking the second pill, the breakdown of the womb occurs (NHS, 2021)

Abortion by surgery: involves an invasive surgery to remove the baby from the womb. This is done with one of the following sedation techniques: local anesthetic to the cervix, conscious sedation (patient is conscious, yet unable to feel the procedure), or deep sedation (patient is asleep). Medication is taken to open the cervix either a few hours before the procedure or 1-2 days before. This is dependent upon what medication is used. This option is carried out by two different procedures:

  • vaccum/suction: Used up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. A tube is inserted into the womb and the baby is suctioned out, being dismembered in the process. If the device fails to remove all of the baby, an instrument is used to gather the remainder of the child. The vacuum technique is completed within 5-10 minutes.

  • Dilation and evacuation: used up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. General or local anesthetics are used during this procedure. Forceps are inserted into the womb and the baby is forcibly extracted. Most women go home the same day.

(NHS, 2021)

According to Mayo Clinic, "Having a medical abortion is a major decision with emotional and psychological consequences. If you're considering this procedure, make sure you understand what it entails, side effects, possible risks, complications and alternatives" (Mayo Clinic, 2021). Below are the following risks that are listed on their website:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion

  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn't work

  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding

  • Infection

  • Fever

  • Digestive system discomfort

(Mayo Clinic, 2021)

Ways of preparation are listed below:

  • Evaluate your medical history and overall health

  • Confirm your pregnancy with a physical exam

  • Do an ultrasound exam to date the pregnancy and confirm it's not outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy) and not a tumor that developed in the uterus (molar pregnancy)

  • Do blood and urine tests

  • Explain how the procedure works, the side effects, and possible risks and complications

(Mayo Clinic, 2021)

The most popular provider of in-clinic abortions is Planned Parenthood. On their website, they state that "Abortion is a medical procedure that ends a pregnancy. In-clinic abortion procedures are safe and effective. In-clinic aborti